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PROCEEDINGS 



OF THE GENERAL 



ANTI-SLAVERY CONTENTION, 



CALLED BY THE COMMITTEE OF THE 



BRITISH AND FOREIGN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY, 



HELD IN LONDON, 



FRIDAY, JUNE 12m, to TUESDAY, JUNE 23rd, 1840. 



BRITISH AND FOREIGN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY, 
27, NEW BROAD STREET; 



PREFACE, 



In committing the following work to the press, the Committee of the 
British aud Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, feel that they are not 
merely performing the duty devolved on them by the Convention, in 
presenting to the world a faithful record of their proceedings, but are 
essentially promoting the great object for which that distinguished body 
of philanthropists met, namely, the universal Abolition of Slavery and 
the Slave-Trade. 

The extent of these giant evils may be gathered from a brief state- 
ment of facts. In the United States of America, the slave population 
is estimated to be 2,750,000 ; in the Brazils, 2,500,000 ; in the Spanish 
Colonies, 600,000 ; in the French Colonies, 265,000; in the Dutch 
Colonies, 70,000 ; in the Danish and Swedish Colonies, 30,000 ; and in 
Texas, 25,000 ; besides those held in bondage by Great Britain, in the 
East Indies, and the British settlements of Ceylon, Malacca, and 
Penang, and by France, Holland, and Portugal, in various parts of 
Asia and Africa, amounting in all to several millions more ; and exclu- 
sive also of those held in bondage by the native powers of the East, 
and other parts of the world, of whose number it is impossible to form 
a correct estimate. 

To supply the slave-markets of the Western world, 120,000 native 
Africans arc, on the most moderate calculation, annually required; 
whilst the slave-markets of the East require 50,000 more. In procuring 
these victims of a guilty traffic to be devoted to the rigours of perpetual 
slavery, it is computed that 280,000 perish in addition, and under cir- 
cumstances the most revolting and afflicting. 

But this is not all. In the southern section of the United States, 
and in British India, a vast internal slave-trade is carried on, second 
only in horror and extent to that which lias so long desolated and 
degraded Africa. 

These facts exhibit also the magnitude of the responsibility which 
devolves upou Abolitionists : in view of it they may well be allowed 



to disclaim, as they do, all sectarian motive, all party feeling : " Glory 
to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will to men" is their aim ; 
consistently with the blessed character of this gospel anthem, they 
recognise no means as allowable for them, in the prosecution of their 
holy enterprise than those which are of a moral, religious, and 
pacific nature ; in the diligent use of these means, and trusting in 
God, they cherish the hope that, under His blessing, they may be per- 
mitted to accomplish the great work to which they are devoted, and 
thus be made instrumental in advancing the sacred cause of Freedom, 
and its attendant blessings, Civilization and Eeligion, throughout the 



The followiug scheme was prepared by the Committee, for the 
purpose of facilitating the business of the Convention ; not to rule 
or limit the discussions of the assembled delegates, but to give 
them form and order, and to suggest topics of interest and impor- 
tance connected with the vast and momentous question of slavery. 

I. Slavery. 

1. General view op Slavery. — Define Slavery ; various kinds. 

(1.) Its essential sinfulness, and its opposition to the genius 
and precepts of the Gospel. 

(2.) Its impolicy with relation to commerce, population, &c. 

(3.) Its influence on legislation, and the security of society. 

(4.) Its moral influence on the character of the euslaver and 
the enslaved. 

' (5.) Its opposition to the advance of civilization, education, 
and Christianity. 

2. Present operation of Slavery. — Numler of i 

features of I 
(1.) British India and Ceylon. 
(2.) French West Indies. 
(3.) Spanish West Indies. 
(4.) Dutch colonial possessions. 



(5.) Danish West Indies. 

(6.) Swedish West Indies. 

(7.) United States. 

(8.) Texas. 

(9.) South America. 

(10.) Mohammedan countries. 

II. Slave- Trade. 

(1.) Its nature — means of obtaining slaves — deportation and 
middle passage— its physical, commercial, political, and moral 
effect. 

(2.) Its progress and present extent— victims of professed 
Christian nations— State of the internal Slave-trade in the 
United States of America— victims of Mohammedans. 

(3.) Causes of its continuance and ii 



III. Results of Emancipation, and op the efforts for 
Abolishing the Slave-Trade. 
1. Emancipation. 

(1.) Progress of emancipation — Hayti— South American 
Republic — British Colonies. 

(2.) Success of free labour — advantage to property— profit 
to employer and labourer. 

(3.) Emigration to emancipated colonies — Europeans — Afri- 
cans, by engagement, capture from slavers— natives of British 
India. 

(4.) Condition of the Emancipated— physical, intellectual, 
moral, civil, social— hardships— Prejudice of Colour— Freedom 
of Eights— Protection of the Emancipated and their friends- 
United States— Canada— Hayti— Free States of South Ame- 
rica— Brazil— the British West Indies. 

2. Slave-trade Abolition. 

(1.) Progress of the Slam-Trade Abolition— Britain— Con- 
tinental nations — America. 



(2.) Failure of the means employed in the suppression of 
the Trade — Treaties — Armed Force. 

(3.) Remaining obstacles. 

(4.) Condition of liberated Africans — at Sierra Leone — Cape 
of Good Hope — Liberia— Cuba— Surinam— Rio— West Indies. 

IV. Plans fob securing Universal Emancipation, and the 

ENTIRE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE-TRADE. 

The difficulties should be noticed, and the delusiveness of any tran- 
sition state exhibited. 
(1.) The general principle of immediate and entire Abolition 

by the overthrow of slavery the demand for the slave-trade 

shall cease— plans of a pacific, moral, and religious nature. 

(2.) Measures — Intercourse of abolitionists — frequent con- 
ference on their several plans — notice plans. 

Propriety of withholding Christian fellowship from Slave- 
holders, their abettors and apologists ; and the faithful exposure 
of the abuses and enormities of the system. 

Fiscal, commercial, social, and domestic arrangements for 
discouraging slave produce, and promoting the use of free- 
grown. 

International : — Free Governments endeavouring to influence 
others that tolerate either Slavery or the Slave-trade. 
The influence of literature. 

Christian addresses to Pastors and Churches implicated in 
the maintenance of the system. 

Testimonies emanating from collective Societies of Christians 
and of Abolitionists. 

Future Conventions promotive of these objects. 

Conclusion. 
General review of the state of Bondsmen throughout the 
wor ld — the duty of Christians — the prospects ■ of the Anti- 
slavery Body — recognizing the importance of prayer for the 
Divine blessing to secure success. 



CONTENTS, 



ORDER OF PROCEEDINGS FROM DAY TO DAY. 



FIRST DAY. 

p 

Page 1—46. 
Opening of the Convention in Freemason's Hall. Thomas 
Clarkson, Esq., appointed Chairman. Address of Chairman. 
Letter from Lord Brougham. Vice-Chairmen appointed. 
Summons of the Convention read. Appointment of Secretaries 
and Press Committee. Business Regulations. Addresses of 
D. O'Connell, Esq., M.P., G. Bradbtjrn, Esq., &c. Expo- 
sition of the objects of the Convention, by Rev. T, Scales. 
Address of Mr. H. Beckford, of Jamaica, one of the eman- 
cipated. Motion of W. Phillips, Esq., for a roll of membership; 
Amendment on that Motion. Prolonged discussion as to the 
admission of Female Delegates. Amendment carried. Close 
of First Day's Proceedings 1— 

SECOND DAY— MORNING. 

Page 46—104. 
Introduction of French Delegates. Paper by Rev. B. Godwin 
on the Essential Sinfulness of Slavery, and its direct opposi- 
tion to the Spirit and Precepts of Christianity, referred to a 
Committee, together with Resolutions of Rev. C. Stovel, pro- 
posing to make Slavery a subject of Church discipline. 
Arneudment, extended discussion. Original resolution carried. 
Close of Morning's sittings 46— 

EVENING. 

Paper by Professor Adam on Slavery and the Slave-Trade in 
British India. Act of the House of Commons to terminate 
Slavery in India, defeated in the House of Lords. East India 
Sugar the Produce of free labour. Committee on Professor 
Adam's paper. Rev. W. Bevan's paper on the Moral Influ- 
ence of Slavery. Letter of Dr. Channing. Mr. Alexander 
on Slavery in the Danish West India Colonies. Crab Island. 
Committee on Danish Islands, Committee on Anti-slavery 
enterprise in North America. Close of Evening sittings 77 — 1 



THIRD DAY— MORNING. 

Page. 
Page 104—147. 
Committee on Free Labour. Committee on Results of Emanci- 
pation in British Colonies. J. G. Birney, Esq., on American 
Slavery. Resolutions condemnatory of trie attempt of the 
United States' Government to convert the pretensions of Slave- 
holders into lights, and to engraft them into international law. 
American Charter of Independence: Slaves in Columbia. 
Resolution on Anti-slavery literature.- English literature 
garbled to adapt it for circulation in the slave states. Ame- 
rican Ambassador. Close of Morning sitting. . 104 — 12G 

EVENING. 
Anti-Slavery Literature continued. Sanction given to Slavery by 
the Clergy. Charge against Ministers from England. Preju- 
dice against colour. Replies to Queries of British and Foreign 
Anti-Slavery Society on Slavery in the United States, referred 
to a Committee, to report on their Publication. Close of 
Evening sitting 126—147 

FOURTH DAY— MORNING. 

Page 148—207. 
French Slavery. Credentials of the French Delegates. Paper 
by D. Turnbull, Esq., on Slavery in the French colonies, and 
plan for effecting its abolition. Speeches of French Delegates, 
Messrs. Isambert, Cremieux, and Laure. Code Noir. Com- 
mittee to prepare Address to the French people. Mr. O'Con- 
nbll on inequality of the sexes, and births and deaths in the 
French islands. M. L'Instant on the emancipation of St. 
Domingo. Its independence recognised by France, and not by 
England. Close of Morning sitting. . . . 148—181 

EVENING. 

Mr. Alexander on Slavery in the Dutch colonies. Results of 
Messrs. Alexander and Whitehorne's visit to Holland. 
Slavery in St. Bartholomew, an island belonging to Sweden. 
Mr. Alexander's visit to Stockholm. Committee to report on 
the state of Dutch slavery, and prepare an address to the 
people of Holland. Dr. Bowring on Mohammedan slavery. 
Report of an interview with Mohammed Ali on the subject of 
Slave hunts. Committee to consider the best methods of assist- 
ing to suppress slavery in the Mohammedan countries. Thanks to 
Dr. Bowring for translating the addresses of French Delegates. 
On international intercourse, and right of the Convention to 
address Foreign Governments. Questions on British manufac- , 
tures prepared for the purposes of slavery. Close of Evening 
sitting 181—207 



CONTENTS. IX 

FIFTH DAY— MORNING. 

Page. 
Page 207—267. 
Mr. Scoble on the present state of the Afriean Slave-trade. Dr. 
Madden on Cuhan slavery. Ameriean slave vessels seized by a 
British cruizer, and carried for trial into an American port. 
Dr. Madden' s paper on Cuban Slavery, referred to a Committee 
for translation into the Spanish language. American Coloniza- 
tion Society. Liberia. Further testimony to the state of 
Slavery in Cuba. Questions respecting the free black popula- 
tion of Cuba. Close of Morning sitting. . . . 207—251 

EVENING. 

Mr. TmiNBtTLij's plan for the suppression of the African Slave- 
trade. Motion to refer the plan to a Committee. Report on 
Volume of Replies to Queries, upon American slavery, brought 
up and adopted. Resolutions respecting the slavery of Moham- 
medan countries. Motion for preparation of Memorial to the 
Viceroy of Egypt. Motion for a Memorial to British Govern- 
ment on the holding of slaves by British functionaries. . Com- 
mittee to inquire into manufactures in this country for the 
purposes of Slavery and the Slave-trade. Close of Evening 
sitting 251— 2C7 

SIXTH DAY-MORNING. 

Page 267—334. 
Report brought up on Mr. Godwin's paper ; and Resolutions 
upon Church-fellowship with Slave-holders. Letter of Judge 
Jay on the duties of Ministers of Religion. Motion for 
adopting the Resolutions; Amendment proposed; discussion. 
Amendment withdrawn. Second Amendment. Reference to 
declarations of Synods, Presbyteries, and Associations of Ame- 
rican Ministers in vindication and support of Slavery. Reso- 
lutions as amended, carried unanimously ; the whole assembly 
standing. Close of Morning sitting. . . . 2C7— 301 

EVENING. 



Canada. Numerous testimonies to their loyalty, integrity, i. 
general good conduct. Resolutions respecting prejudice against 
colour. Facts illustrative of its operation. Additional clause 
proposed. Resolutions referred to a Sub-Committee. Paper of 
Rev. H. Beaver, on the slavery of Red Indians under the 
Hudson's Bay Company. Referred to a Sub-Committee. 
Close of Evening sitting 302 — 334 



SEVENTH DAY— MORNING. 

Page 334—410. 
Report of the Committee on Free Labour. Results of Emanci- 
pation in the West Indies. Oppressive and unjust laws still 
in operation, and attempts of the planters and colonial legisla- 
tures to frame and enforce new laws of a pernicious character. 
Bill for transportation of Hill Coolies into the West India 
colonies. Close of Morning sitting 334 — 384 

EVENING. 

Discussion resumed on the results of Emancipation. Jamaica 
Land Company. Stipendiary Magistrates. Compensation. 
Report on Free Labour adopted. Resolutions of the Free 
Labour Committee. Further proofs of the beneficial results of 
emancipation in the West Indies. Rider to resolutions pro- 
posed. Discussion adjourned. Close of Evening sitting. 384 — 410 

EIGHTH DAY— MORNING. 

Page 410—463. 
Resolutions on Free Labour resumed. Rider negatived. Growth 
of cotton in India. Cotton the main stay of slavery in Ame- 
rica. Jamaica laws incidentally noticed. Free labour resolu- 
tions amended and adopted. Notice of General Assembly of 
Presbyterian church in Philadelphia. Close of Morning- 
sitting 410-433 

EVENING. 

Slavery in Mohammedan countries. Address to Lord Palmeb- 
ston. Address to the Pacha of Egypt. Abstinence from 
slave produce practised by many abolitionists in America. 
Discussion of the principle. Amendment proposed. Second 
amendment carried. Report of the Committee on East India 
slavery. Number of Slaves in British India. Slavery in 
Texas. Missouri struggle. Compensation condemned. British 
Functionaries in slave countries holding slaves ; memorial to 
Secretary of State against the practice. Committee to prepare 
Address to Heads of Governments. Close of Evening sit- 



ting. 

NINTH DAY— MORNING. 

Page 463—511. 
n Mr. Titrnbull's plan for suppression of the Slave- 
trade. Objection to appeal to Governments on religious 
grounds. Amendment proposed and carried. Cruel law 
against persons of colour in the state of Alabama. Free sub- 
jects of British government' sold for slaves in America. Reso- 



CONTENTS. 



Page 



lutions on Mr. Turnbull's plan amended and earned. Mr. 
Turnbull's plan reeorded. Internal slave-trade of tlie North 
Ameriean Union. Slavery and slave-trade of tlie Brazils. 
Committee to eonsider and report upon it. Resolution of sym- 
pathy with the Baptist Missionaries of Jamaica. Testimonies 
to the serviees of Rev. "William Knibb. Close of Morning 
sitting. . 463—487 

EVENING. 

Report of Committee on people of eolour in Canada ; and slavery 
under the Hudson's Bay Company. Slave-trade in Brazil. 
Slave-trade between the states of Ameriea. Resolution respect- 
ing the Ameriean Colonization Society. Governor Camp- 
bell's aeeount of Sierra Leone. Resolution to investigate the 
present state of the British settlements on the west eoast of 
Afriea. Mr. Murray's plan for protection of Afriea and 
liberated Afrieaus, referred to a Committee. Resolution upon 
the state of the Amistad eaptives. Papers presented to the 
Convention. Close of Evening sitting . . . 488 — 511 

TENTH DAY.— MORNING. 

Page 511—671. 
Thanks to Christian Ministers and Missionaries in the "West India 
colonies. Address to the Freneh Nation. Employment of 
British eapital in the Slave-trade. Slave-grown Sugar. 
Address to Heads of Governments. Benefieial results of 
Emancipation ; testimonies of Delegates from different eolonies 
to these results. Announcement of the defeat of the measure 
for transporting Hill Coolies to the Mauritius and other plaees. 
Close of Morning sitting 512—540 

EVENING. 

Letters of Correspondents : from the Free will Baptists of the 
United States, &e. Russian serfage. Address to the People 
of Holland and Denmark. Spanish Slavery. Slavery in 
Ceylon. Afrieau Slave-trade. On holding another Conven- 
tion. Protest of Seven Delegates : read and laid on the tabic. 
Resolution respecting the President. Thanks to the Viee- 
Presidents. Thanks to the Committee of the British and 
Foreign Anti- Slavery Soeiety. Custody of the Reeords. 
Thanks to the Secretaries. Thanks to the Publication and 
Press Committee. Concluding Resolution. Convention dis- 
solved. Close of Last Day's sitting 540 — 571 



PROCEEDINGS, &c. 



Pursuant to previous announcement, the Convention opened its sit- 
tings in Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen-street, London, on Friday, 
June 12th, 1840. The members began to assemble before 10 o'clock,and 
by 11 o'clock the spacious Hall was filled. The upper end and one side 
of the room were appropriated to ladies, of whom a considerable number 
were present, including several female abolitionists from the United States. 

W. T. Blair, Esq.* (of Bath) rose, and said— 

Our venerable friend, Thomas Clarkson, will shortly enter the room. 
I am requested to suggest, in consideration of the infirm state of his health, 
that there be no expression of popular approbation on his entrance. Perhaps 
the most acceptable way in which he can be received, will be by the company 
standing. 

Thomas Clarkson, Esq., then entered the room, leaning on the arm 
of W. D. Ckewdson, Esq., and Joseph Sturge, Esq., and accom- 
panied by his daughter-in-law and grandson. 

"WILLIAM ALLEN, Esq.— I have been requested by the Committee to 
propose to this numerous and respectable assembly, that our friend, Thomas. 
Clarkson, be Chairman of this Convention. 

J. G. Birney, Esq. (of New York), seconded the motion, which 
was put and agreed to. 

At the suggestion of some of the members of the Convention, a few 
minutes were spent in devotional silence. 

JOSEPH STUBGE, Esq. (of Birmingham).-I hope I shall be excused for 
making one or two remarks before the business of the meeting commences. 
Those who have known our dear and honoured Chairman only through the 
unimpaired intellectual vigour evinced in a work which has recently appeared 



* The places represented by the respective delegates, may be found c 
reference to an alphabetical list appended to this volume. 



before the public, can little estimate how much he suffers from bodily 
weakness, and what a sacrifice it has been to him to comply with the 
unanimous wish of the Committee that he would preside on this occasion 01 
how much cause we have for thankfulness that he is yet spared to be amongst 
us, for however short a period, at the age of more than eighty year . On the 
last occasion that our dear friend appeared ^P^* «££. .£l °?° 
when the freedom of this city was presented to him at the Guildhall, he 
was so overcome by thfe heat of the room, and the applause of the audience, 
Tathe was unable to proceed with his address; but the kind and delicate 
manner in which this assembly have now abstained from the usual expressions 
of approbation, will, I trust, spare him any of those painful sensations on the 
present occasion ;-he will feel that he is surrounded by his friends. The 
Committee who have made preliminary arrangements, were particularly 
^ofto' afford every warm friend of the cause an opportunity of being 
Resent at this Convention ; nevertheless, to avoid giving offence, they have 
found it necessary strictly o adhere to the rule laid down for granting tickets 
oTadmSto4 it ors,b y utIam sure they ^^^"j^f^X 
because they have, at the express request of the Chairman, made a tew 
exceptions I allude to one of these, for the purpose of introducmg my young 
frTend Xstands beside me, who is the only living representative of Thomas 
C^kZZ and who bears his name. [Mr. Stukgs here took the youth by 
the hand but was so much affected, as to be for some time unable to proceed. 
The deer syTa hy of the meeting was audibly testified.] It was the 
prfcSwisho'f the father of our cause whose labours exten over a period 
of fifty-six years, that his grandson should be present ; and I hope I shall not 
vn thS/degree wound the delicacy of his widowed parent by saying, in 
her pti^lat it is the dearest wish of her heart, that her d^riing and 
only child should consecrate his future life to thegrea cause J^ w f™ ^ 
a. ™»+ tn nrmnote It is an interesting fact, which I did not know till 
y^rrtois 1 ^ birth-day [nhfe years,] of the youthful Thomas 
Claumo*; and if I venture to give expression to the earnest prayer of my 
heart, that the blessing of God may rest upon him and that, with the de- 
fending mantle of his ancestor, he may catch a double portion at hi spn-it,I 
am sure it will find a response in the bosom of very many m this assembly - 
tfjries of « Arncn)." When many of us are removed to that bourn where the 
wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest, and w .ere all distinc- 
tions of clime and colour will be swept away for ever, may he see the day 
when the Divine blessing shall have so < »n nontly cr o^d ^his gi^at a use 
of justice and of mercy, that the sun shall cease to rise upon a tyrant 01 

Se THOMAS a CLARKSON,Esq.-My dear friends, I stand before you as an 
humble individual whose life has been most intimately connected with the 
subiect which you are met this day to consider. I was formerly, under 
Providence, the originator, and am now unhappily the only surviving member 
of the Committee which was first instituted in this country m he year 1/87, 
for the abolition of the slave-trade. My dear friend and *f™-™™<*. *£ 
Wilberforce, who was one of them, is, as you know, dead • and here I may 
Tvnf him that there never was a man either dead or living, to whom your 
Z^T^JnZLlttentoUrn. My dear friend and fellow-labourer, 
- Wiuuh Smith, the late member for Norwich, who was another of them, is 
dead also, by whose indefatigable exertions for nearly fifty years, both m and 



out of Parliament, it was most vigorously supported. As to the rest of the 
Committee, Samuel Hoare, William Dillwyn, George Harrison, 
Richard Phillips, and the other dear friends, whose names I am sorry that 
I cannot at this moment recollect, these also are all dead, and gone no doubt 
to their eternal rest. My dear friends, I was invited many months ago to be 
at this meeting, but old age and infirmities, being lame and nearly blind, and 
besides being otherwise seriously affected at times, gave me no hope of 
attending. At length, I have been permitted to come among you ; and I 
rejoice in it, if I were only allowed to say in this place, in reference to your 
future labours— fafe courage, be not dismayed, go on, persevere to the last; you will 
always have pleasure from the thought of having done so. I myself can say 
with truth, that though my body is fast going to decay, my heart beats as 
warmly in this sacred cause, now in the 81st year of my age, as it did at the 
age of 24, when I first took it up. And I can say further with truth, that if I 
had another life given me to live, I would devote it to the same object. So 
far for your encouragement to persevere. My dear friends, you have a most 
difficult task to perform; it is ueither more nor less than the extirpation 
of slavery from the whole world. Your opponents who appear the most for- 
midable, are the cotton and other planters in the southern parts of the United 
States ; who, I am grieved to say, hold more than two millions of their fellow- 
creatures m the most cruel bondage. Now, we know of these men, that they 
are living in the daily habits of iujustice, cruelty, and oppression, and may be 
therefore said to have no true fear of God, nor any just sense of religion. 
You cannot therefore expect to have the same hold upon the consciences of 
these as you have upon the consciences of others. How then can you get at them 
so as to influence their conduct ? There is one way ; you must endeavour to 
make, them feel their guilt in its consequences. You must endeavour by all 
justifiable means to affect their temporal interests. You must endeavour, 
among other things, to have the produce of free tropical labour brought iuto 
the markets of Europe, and under-sell them there ; and if you can do this, 
your victory is sure. I have only now to say, may the Supreme Ruler of all 
human events,_ at whose disposal are not only the hearts but the intellects of 
men, may He in his abundant mercy, guide your councils, and give his blessing 
upon your labours. 

W. D. CREWDSON, Esq. (of Kendal) .-It is of very great importance to the 
comfort of our venerable President, that the solemn feeling which has been 
over the meeting should be continued whilst we are favoured with his presence. 
I trust that by- the exercise of this feeling he may be permitted to remain with 
us longer than he now anticipates. I should be sorry if he stayed to weary or 
oppress himself; but for a few minutes it may be interesting to him to see 
what is the course which this meeting intends to pursue in the prosecution of 
its important labours. In the first place, I have to introduce to the meeting a 
communication from Lord Brougham, on whom two gentlemen with myself 
waited yesterday, to inform him as an old, a very active, and a powerful friend 
of the cause in which we are uow engaged, of what was going forward ; and 
to request him, if it were possible, even for a few minutes only, to give his 
attendance at this meeting. I am sorry to say, that the state of his health is 
such, that he thinks it uecessary to decline ; but he sent a letter last night, 
addressed to me, which I will request our friend, the Rev. T, Scales, to read 
to the meeting. 

b2 



The Rev. T. Scales, (of Leeds), then read the following letter :— 
" House of Lords, Thursday. 

" Gentlemen,— I am much honoured by the request which you have 
made to me through your deputation this morning, that I would attend the 
meeting of delegates to-morrow ; and I assure you that it is very painful 
for me to be under the necessity of refusiug. But the state of my health 
has been such for some time past, that I am barely able to discharge those 
duties in this place from which I cannot withdraw, and I have becu 
compelled to lay down a rule against going to any public meeting what- 
ever. Of all the instances in which I have been obliged to follow this 
rule, there is no one which has given me greater pain j for I need hardly 
say how deeply I feci interested in whatever concerns the great cause 
which brings you together. I earnestly hope that all your proceedings 
may be guided by the same wisdom, aud animated by the same zeal, 
which have from the earliest period of the controversy, been displayed 
by the friends of humanity and justice ; and I trust that, under the 
blessing of Providence continued to their exertions, our earnest desires 
may finally be crowned with suceess. I have the honour to be, gentle- 
men, your faithful and humble servant, " Brougham." 
" To the Committee of Management of Delegates:' 
Mr. Crewdson resumed. 

The next subject which I have to bring before the -meeting, is the appoint- 
ment of Vice-Chairmen, in order to relieve our President. It was thought 
necessary at this early stage of the business to be provided with those who 
should efficiently occupy the Chair, and considering the extent of labour 
which is likely to rest upon tliem, the Committee have thought it expedient to 
propose four gentlemen, whose names I shall now submit to this meeting for 
their consideration, and I trust, their adoption. I beg leave, therefore, to 

That "William Thomas Blair, Esq., of Bath, Joseph Sttjrge, 
Esq., of Birmingham, James Gillespie Birney, Esq., of New York, 
and Robert Kaye Greville, Esq., LL.D., of Edinburgh, be requested 
to become Viee-Chairmen of this Convention. 

George Bradburn, Esq., (of the Massachusetts legislature, U. S.) 
seconded the motion, which was agreed to. 

Rev HENRY GREW, (of Philadelphia, U. S.)— It is with emotions 
which no language can describe, that I proceed to the discharge of a 
duty very interesting to myself, and I trust to all who are present. I have 
to present to our venerated and respected Chairman, a memorial of the high 
regard which the friends of liberty in the western world entertain for his 
benevolent services in a cause dear to humanity. It consists of a book, 



■ 



wmtaiuing a history of the Pennsylvania Hall. That Hall was erected by the 
friends of liberty, for the advocacy of the general principles of free discus- 
sion on all subjects, but especially on the great topic of human rights. On 
the 14th of May, 1838, it was opened and consecrated to virtue, liberty, and 
independence. We hoped that it would have stood until the jubilee of 
universal emancipation should have cheered a regenerated world. But in 
the inscrutable counsels of infinite wisdom, it was otherwise ordained. On 
the evening of the 17th of the same month^it was destroyed by a mob, insti- 
gated and infuriated by that demon spirit' of slavery which has cursed the 
world. I am charged by my friend, Samuel Webb, of Philadelphia, one of the 
managers of Pennsylvania Hall, to present this volume. Considering the state 
of health of our dearly beloved friend, the Chairman, and the value of your 
time, I shall not now enter into a detail of the circumstances of this catastrophe 
I will only express a hope, in which I shall be joined by millions of kindred 
spirits in the old world and in the new, that his declining days may be crowned 
and blessed, aud consummated by "the peace of God, which passeth all 
understanding," and that he may then have an abundant entrance minis- 
tered unto him into that temple into which the powers of darkness shall 
never be able to enter, but where the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb 
shall be the glory. 

The Rev. W. KNIBB, (from Jamaica).— I will claim your indulgence for 
only one moment. I beg to present on behalf of 300,000 emancipated slaves 
in the island of Jamaica, the only tribute which they have to give, but which 
I am sure is the best tribute they could give, to my venerated father, Thomas 
Clarkson, Esq., namely, the propriety of their conduct since they have been 
made men. I did not expect that I should have been permitted to address 
this assembly, and thus publicly to return thanks to one whom I shall ever 
respect and admire. I have an engraving of a view of one of our chapels 
in Jamaica, in which the .first Anti-Slavery meeting was held in that 
beloved island. If I had been aware of this opportunity, I would have 
presented it publicly to our Chairman, but I shall now forward it privately 
on behalf of those whom I formerly knew as slaves, but whom I now know 
a, rising in intelligence, and exhibiting to the world that propriety 
>r the emancipated sons and daughters of Africa, 

J. H. Tbedgold, Esq., Hon. Secretary to the Committee of the 
British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Soeiety, then read the summons of the 
Convention. 

BRITISH AND FOREIGN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY, 
Offices, 27, JVew Broad-street, London. 

More than half a eentury has elapsed since the horrors, the eruelty, 
and crime of the Afriean slave trade awakened the sympathies of 
Britons. Aroused to exertion they determined on its extinetion. They 
had to eontend with fierce opposition from almost every quarter, espe- 
cially from those interested in supporting this iniquitous traffie ; their 
diseouragements were all but overwhelming: yet, knowing their eause 
to be the eause of humanity and religion, they did not faint, they 



laboured diligently and devotedly ; every obstacle at length gave way ; 
and in the year 1807, a Law was enacted by the British Legislature for 
its extinction. 

In the year 1823, the condition of the slaves in the British Colonies 
was brought before Parliament ; strenuous efforts were made in every 
shape to resist Emancipation ; a Society was then formed for the Abo- 
lition of Slavery; information was circulated through tbe country; 
Auxiliary Societies were established ; public feeling was universally 
excited ; petitions were poured into both Houses of Parliament, and 
laid before the Throne, from cities, towns, and villages. In 1833, an 
Act was passed by tbe Legislature for the Abolition of Slavery in the 
British Colonies ; but, although a generous and confiding nation was 
betrayed into a grant of Twenty Millions sterling to tbe slave-owners, 
the slave was not yet made a freeman ; consigned to an apprenticeship 
of six years, subject to the domination of the same master, he still 
groaned under the oppression and cruelty inseparable from the state in 
which he was placed ; personal inspection confirmed tbe worst appre- 
hensions of the abolitionists, and proved that the apprenticeship was 
only slavery under another name. Again, the sympathies of the 
British nation were aroused, and, under the blessing of the Most 
High, the efforts of tbe friends of justice and humanity were finally 
crowned with success. The slaves were released from their oppressive 
servitude, and freedom was conferred on every descendant of Africa in 
the British Colonies. 

The labourers in this cause, notwithstanding their joy and thanks- 
giving for the events they had been permitted to witness, could not look 
upon the accomplishment of these great objects as the signal for repose ; 
they could not but feel that, from a variety of circumstances attendant 
upon his new condition in life, tbe recently emancipated slave bad a 
powerful claim upon the protection and assistance of those who had 
laboured for his deliverance from bondage ; tbey had rejoiced in the 
1 liberation of 800,000 of their fellow-subjects, but they could not forget 
that in tbe nations of the American Continent and its adjacent islands, 
upwards of Five. Millions of the descendants of Africa were still 
groaning under the oppression, and subject to the cruelty of slavery. 
It has been ascertained from conclusive evidence, that, to supply the 
slave-markets in these countries, and the fearful waste of human life 
consequent on this atrocious system, upwards of one thousand of the 
inhabitants of Africa are daily sacrificed to the slave-trade, either as 



victims to the wars fomented in their native land, lost during the in- 
describable sufferings of the middle passage, or, at length, consigned to 
the oppressions of slavery on the shores of the western world. In 
addition to this, it may be observed, that in the United States of 
America, an internal slave-trade is carried on to a prodigious and in- 
creasing extent, and with features of the most disgusting depravity and 
revolting cruelty. 

Thus the slave trade, justly designated by the Allied Sovereigns, at 
the Congress of Veroua, on the 8th of February, 1815, as " a scourge 
whieh has too long desolated Africa, degraded Europe, and afflicted 
humanity," though piracy by British law, and contraband to other ■ 
civilized nations, baffles all measures which have been devised for its 
suppression, and is still earried on to an unprecedented extent, and with 
aggravated horrors. These considerations induced the friends of justice 
and humanity again to assemble. Deputies met from various parts of 
Great Britain, and a Society was formed in London, in the spring of 
the present year, (1839) under the name of the "British and Foreign 
Anti-Slavery Soeiety." 

The fundamental principles of this Association are embodied in the 
following resolution : — 

" That so long as slavery exists there is no reasonable prospect of 
the annihilation of the slave-trade, and of extinguishing the 
sale and barter of human beings ; that the extinction of slavery 
and the slave-trade will be attained most effectually by theemploy- 
ment of those means which are of a moral, religious, and pacific I 
character ; and that no measures be resorted to by this Society 
in the prosecution of these objects, but such as are in entire 
accordanee with these principles." 

From the foregoing Resolution it will be seen, that the British and 
Foreign Anti-Slavery Society is impressed with the conviction that there 
is no reasonable prospect of exterminating the slave-trade but by the 
annihilation of slavery itself; and that, in pursuing its objeet, it is 
entirely restricted from being aceessary to the employment of an armed 
force, or of any means but those of a moral, religious, and pacific 
character. Degraded and forlorn as is the condition of the slave, the 
members of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society eannot but 
feci persuaded, that there is no country in which there will not be 



found those, who commiserate his condition, and who would desire td 
prove themselves the friends and protectors of the oppressed. To these, 
in every land, the Society offers the right hand of fellowship, and 
earnestly solicits their co-operation. Justice and mercy are most 
strongly inculcated by the precepts of our blessed Lord, " All things 
whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to 
them." " Be ye therefore merciful as )' p our Father also is merciful." These 
precepts may well embolden the friends of the slave to come forward 
and plead the cause of their oppressed, helpless, and afflicted brethren. 

The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, in thus announcing 
itself to the friends of the slave of every nation, strongly urges it upon 
them, wherever it may be practicable, to associate themselves, and 
unitedly, as well as individually, to labour for the extinction of slavery ; 
a system which, whether regarded in a political, moral, or religious 
point of view, is alike inimical to the prosperity of Nations, cor- 
rupting and demoralizing to every community in which it exists, and 
utterly at variance with the spirit and precepts of Christianity. For the 
purpose of promoting this great and truly Christian object, the Society 
has concluded to hold a General Conference in London, to commence 
on the 12th of June, 1840 ; in order to deliberate on the best means of 
promoting the interests of the slave ; of obtaining his immediate and 
unconditional freedom; and by every pacific measure, to hasten the 
utter extinction of the slave trade. To this Conference they earnestly 
invite the friends of every nation and of every clime. 
On behalf of the Committee, 

John H. Thedgold, Secretary. 

GEORGE STACEY, Esq.— I have been unexpectedly called upon to move 
a resolution, which I will proceed to submit to the Convention. It is as 
follows : — 

That the following gentlemen be invited to act as Secretaries during 
this Convention, JohnScoble, of London, Henby Brewster Stanton, 
of New York, Thomas Scales, of Leeds, William Bevan, of Liver- 
pool, Wendell Phillips, of Boston, Massachusetts, and William 
Morgan, of Birmingham. 

The Rev. JOHN BURNET seconded the resolution.— It is of great impor- 
tance (he observed) that we should have efficient, devoted, and persevering 
Secretaries. No Society can go on well without such Secretaries, and the 
individuals that are now proposed have proved their perfect competency to 
carry on the work which is to be committed to their hands. I have been very 



much pleased with the way in which this meeting has opened, its proceedings 
augur well for the future circumstances connected with the movements of this 
Society. I have been pleased with the readiness with which the meeting has 
taken the hint thrown put to it respecting your own feelings, Sir, and your 
own age. I have been pleased to find that in the midst of all the ardour and 
devotedness which they feel in common with myself in the anti-slavery cause, 
they are yet able so to control that ardour, and that devotedness, as to prove . 
that they can act with the cool deliberation of men ; while they can, at the 
same time, when need requires, display all the emotion of individuals whose 
every feeling is enlisted in this great cause. I trust that the same self-control 
will pervade all the proceedings of this Convention to its close. I trust that 
there will be found no individual who will not be ready to feel that he is 
embarked in a great cause, in the presence of which every personality must 
sink, and every passion must die, except the passion of a well directed, a 
burning, but a wisely controlled zeal for the great object we have in view. I 
do hope, Sir, that we shall have reason at the close of this Convention, to con- 
gratulate ourselves, and to congratulate you, that at the evening of your life, 
you have come, surrounded by the recollections of many long years, to give the 
sanction of your presence and your opinions to such a great aud interesting 
object. I trust that the meeting at large will take a lesson from the appear- 
ance you have made here to-day, associating with your weakness of body all 
that energy of mind which has long distinguished your career, .and which I 
trust, will long distinguish those, to whom you have commended a similar 



The resolution was put and carried unanimously. 

The Rev. THOMAS SCALES.— I feel that the office to which, in common 
with several other gentlemen, you have been pleased to call me, is one of con- 
siderable labour, but of still greater responsibility, and I feel exceedingly 
anxious that we may be assisted with all that is requisite to enable us rightly 
and faithfully to discharge its duties. One of our number, Mr. Scoble, to 
whom the cause owes so much, is prevented by severe, personal, and domestic 
indisposition from being with us this morning, but I hope that in a day or two, 
he will unite with us in our important engagements. I wish also to intimate 
that of the Secretaries who have now been appointed by you, two of our 
friends are from America. Mr. Stanton is well known as one of the valuable 
Secretaries of that important Society which has been established in the 
United States for the abolition of slavery, aud which, under the blessing of 
heaven, has laboured with so much ardour and effect ; and Mr. Phillips is 
well-known as a devoted advocate of this sacred cause, who has consecrated 
the energies of his heart and mind to the object for which we are associated. 
I hope that by your forbearance and sympathy, and by assistance from on 
high, we shall discharge the duty committed to us in such a way, as to subserve 
the great end for which we are come together in this Convocation. 
James Mott, Esq. (of Philadelphia, U. S.) moved, 
That the following gentlemen be appointed a press Committee to 
superintend the publication of the reports of the Convention : John 
Beaumont, J. H. Trkdgold, Joseph Cooper, and Henry Tuckett, 
Esquires. 



10 

The Rev. JOHN ANGELL JAMES, (of Birmingham).— This is a motion 
of mere formal business, which precludes me, even if I were disposed and 
able, from addressing the meeting at any length. I caunot, however, avoid 
expressing that I really feel it an ineffable honour to second a resolution on 
such a subject as this, which has been moved by one of the delegates from 
America, and which places me in juxta-position with the friends on that side 
the Atlantic in this great and noble cause. I also feel it an honour to second 
a resolution which is to be put to this meeting, Sir, by yourself. I would 
simply express my prayer, that this Convention, which I rejoice you have lived 
long enough to witness, may be the evening star of your life, and the morning 
star of that dear youth, who, I trust, will stand before the public as your 
representative in this cause, long after you have gone to your eternal rest. 

The resolution was then put and carried unanimously. 

GEORGE THOMPSON, Esq. (of Edinburgh).— However my heart may 
throb to give expression to those sentiments, which the grand objects of this 
meeting and the presence of the champions of human rights from all sections 
of the globe, and those irresistibly touching scenes upon which our eyes have 
gazed to-day, for the first and for the last time, are calculated naturally to 
inspire in my bosom, and in yours ; this is not the stage of the proceedings of 
this Convention at which it would be good taste to occupy much time in the 
submission of any resolution, because the resolutions are at present quite pre- 
liminary, and have reference to that business which will afford us the oppor- 
tunity, by and by, of largely expressing our views upon all those topics that 
are connected with the interests of that cause in which we are embarked. 
But for the information of the venerable Chairman, I would say, he has before 
him on this occasion, not only the tried and trusty friends of human liberty 
in this kingdom ; but he has before him, on either side of him, and in the 
distance, those who have not only laboured, but suffered and sacrificed, more 
than language can express, in this same cause, in the western hemisphere of 
our world. Ere he retires, I am anxious that he should feel that his advice, 
his counsel, and his energy are appreciated most deeply by those who have 
been permitted this day to behold him for the first time. I am sure 
that our friends from the other side of the Atlantic will depart inspired 
and encouraged by the words of comfort which have been addressed to them 
from the Chair. I trust, Sir, that the example which you have set us, of dedi- 
cating our children and our grand-children to the cause of freedom, will be 
followed by all who have wept tears of emotion over the scene wc have 
witnessed this day. I heartily unite in the expressions which have already 
fallen from the lips of preceding speakers, hoping that our future delibera- 
tions, while they are characterised by the highest principle, and by the 
greatest fervour, may at the same time be characterised by good taste and 
Christian forbearance, and that wisdom which is profitable to direct. 

Mr. Thompson concluded by submitting a series of regulations for 
conducting the business of the Convention, which, having been seconded 
by the Rev. Nathaniel Colver, of Boston, Massachusetts, were, after 
some discussion, amended and unanimously adopted in the following 
form : — 



11 

1 . — That this Convention do sit twice in each day, commencing at 
ten o'clock in the morning, and at four o'clock in the afternoon ; and 
that the Vice- Chairmen be requested to preside alternately in the 
absence of the President. 

2. — That all original papers, propositions, and resolutions be sub- 
mitted in writing to the Secretaries, the day before it is proposed to 
introduce them ; and that all amendments and propositions arising out 
of business under discussion, be submitted to the Chairman in writing 
at the time. 

3. — That the Secretaries be instructed to report at the close of each 
day to the Chairman the subjects upon which it is proposed that in- 
formation shall the next day be communicated to the Convention, and 
that such subjects shall be regularly disposed of before any other matter 
be introduced. 

4. — That as occasions may arise, Committees shall be appointed to 
draft addresses, prepare resolutions, &c. &c, to be passed through the 
hands of the Secretaries to the Chairman. 

5. — That no member of Convention shall he allowed to speak twice 
on the same subject, except in explanation ; or the opener, by way of 
conclusion, in reply. 

6. — That all documents shall be signed by the Chairman. 

7- — That all letters and documents addressed to this Convention, or 
to the Chairman, be referred to the Secretaries. 

8. — That no new business be introduced in the morning sitting, after 
two o'clock, P.M. 

DANIEL O'CONNELL, Esq. M.P, on the request of the Chairman, next 
addressed the meeting. I feel, (said the honourable and learned gentleman), 
that it would be impossible to resist such a request. It is to me a sacred 
command. I should not detain this highly respectable meeting mauy seconds, 
if one idea were not impressed on my mind. It is this,— much has been done 
by Great Britain in the cause of our coloured brethren ; their emancipation 
was a great and majestic act, and it has been followed by consequences which, 
if you looked at them alone, have been of the utmost value to humanity. 
Under the British flag, with the exception of the East ladies, slavery no longer 
exists ; and those who were compelled heretofore to labour for the advantage 
of others, now labour for their own, their wives, their children, and their fami- 
/ lies. It would be quite impossible to exaggerate what has been done. You 
' have struck off the fetters from 800,000 human beings ; from the rank of slaves 
yon have made them free ; but then you have not done all ; there remains 
much yet to be effected. Even your benevolence and hnmanity have left a 
larger blot than before upon the escutcheon of human nature. You have left 
behind yon the Slave-Trade, and emancipation has multiplied its victims. You 
have come together for the very purpose of doing away with the injury inflicted 



12 

on Africa, riot by your efforts, but by the avarice of others. Yotl are not 
responsible for it— they are. But the fact I rose to impress upon you is this— 

Lthat this Convention is more important tlian any which has yet assembled on 
the face of the globe. Men have come more than 5000 miles in order to attend 
it. They have come here not from selfish motives, not to advance their own 
interests, not to acquire pride and glory from participating in your objects ; 
but from higher and more ennobling motives — from a desire to serve the cause 
of humanity. You have represeutatives from the neighbouring kingdoms of 
Europe — you have them from every portion of the British isles— and no por- 
tion of the British isles ought to be exempted from our meetiug. You have 
at this Convention the patriarch of the cause of liberty, and I am delighted 
that that venerable gentleman has lived to see a consummation which, when 
he commenced his labours, the fervid imagination of his youth could not have 
conceived. He has heen the prime moving cause of that majestic operation of 
British justice. It is delightful that he has lived to witness the purest of all 
fame. This is a powerful assembly ; hut in proportion to its importance, so is 
the awfulness of the duty imposed upon it. Are you met to teach morals, to 
display talent, and to show a good disposition ? Yes, you may meet for all 
these purposes, hut they are totally insufficient for your work, and without 
some great movement in favour of humanity, it would have been hetter that 
you had never met : for, instead of doing good, you will create a re-action 
favourable to the foes of the human race, and will assist, in fact, those nations 
that, from political considerations, have pledged themselves to the British 
crown to assist in putting an end to human slavery, and are yet practising all 
manner of deceit, redoubling the horrors of the middle passage, and committing 
thousands of murders more than were perpetrated in the worst period of our 
slave-trade. The only reason why I rose to obey the call was, the opportunity 
it furnished of raising my humble voice in earnest solicitations, that this meet- 
ing should not break up until it has made a movement forward — until it has 
made those arrangements which in your wisdom you may think most fit, in 
order to establish co-operating societies in every country of the world. I am 
proud to see gentlemen present from Massachusetts, hecause the Massachusetts 
legislature having perceived that in point of law the first paragraph of their 
declaration of independence— the charter of American freedom — is inconsistent 
with slavery, — upon the construction of that clause alone they have determined 
that no slavery shall exist in that state. I come hack to my only point, that it 
is the duty of every one of us to work out our principles, to take care that 
something permanent results from our operations, and that they shall not prove 
transitory. It does not become me to suggest what they should he, but I am 
ready, as a man of business, to adopt measures which shall produce an 
effect in every portion of the civilized world. You should throw a glance 
beyond the ocean; you should commence a correspondence with the place 
where the worst slavery exists — with the East Iudies. It is not only the 
actual bondsman who is a slave there, but every occupier is under the basest 
of tyranny] and the East India Company have unlimited power to tax him 
to the utmost amount which they can possibly grind ont of him. Nothing 
can be more glorious to America than the numher of Anti-Slavery Societies 
already established in that country, and we should make a perfect brother- 
hood of affectiou with them. I have been hlamed for phrases untruly 
attributed to me, as if I had charged all Americans with that which I 
applied ouly to slave-owners. I can never speak but with indignation of 
monsters who claim liberty to themselves, .and yet inflict on the backs of 



13 

their slaves the vilest marks of their tyranny. I hail with delight the 
approach of meetings at which there will he associated with us the honest 
citizeus of America, who come here at so much expense, so much peril, so 
much sacrifice of time, and in spite of the prejudices of those of their coun- 
trymen who will raise the knife where they fail in argument. I am ohliged to 
the meeting for giving me an opportunity of throwing out my sentiments. I 
hope that every gentleman will join with me in the conviction, that we are * 
under an imperative duty to operate forwards, or we shall drive the cause of 
humanity hackwards. "Would it not he a lamentahle thing for such a Con- 
vention to meet without forwarding the cause which they have come together 
to promote ? If we are to work well, we must make sacrifices of individual 
opinion to public sentiment. Honest men are often those who are the most 
stubborn ; for having no improper motives in their own minds, but being 
actuated by pure conviction, they are frequently unwilling to yield. There are 
some places, which shall be nameless, where a man is never angry with another 
for differing from him in public. Though they often agree in private, they 
take adverse views when they come before the world. I rejoice to have had 
an opportunity of seeing you in the chair, and of seeing the representative of 
your family — of the glorious name you will leave to posterity. I rejoice that 
we cannot be accused of a wrong motive. I defy the entire press of England 
— admitting its ingenuity, but paying it no other compliment — to impugn our 
motives. The efforts of the Convention are beyond reproach. You have 
nothing to fear. I trust that God who has told us that charity is the greatest 
of all, will smile propitiously on our efforts, and that the Convention will do 
some mighty work, which shall make efficient progress in raising men all over 
the globe from a state of degradation to a state of freedom, as the only real 
preparative for the reception of the truths of Christianity, and the blessings of 
civilization. 

J. C. FULLER, Esq. (from the State of New York, U.S.)— There are no 
men in the room whom I am more happy to see than the Chairman and 
Daniel O'Connell. "We have been told that there must be an influence go 
out of this meeting that shall tell upon the nations of the earth. I was glad 
to hear it. Dahiel O'Conneix has talked to us— I now want to talk to him. 
There is a charm about his name all over the universe. I believe he could 
do more to put down slavery in America than the Convention can effect. 
Some of our Irish brethren there, are the principal supporters of slavery, and 
if he would issue an address to them we should soon have powerful coad- 
jutors. I hope he will do something of that kind. There is a charm in his 
name whicli slavery cannot tarnish. 

Mr. O'CONNELL.— I only beg you to be assured of this ; I want no addi- 
tional stimulant to induce me to carry into effect that which I have long had in 
contemplation. Before the Convention breaks up, I will show to that gentle- 
man, if he will permit me, and to other American delegates, that address, in 
order that I may know whether they deem it suitable to the country or not. 

Mr. BRADBURN. — I rise not without considerable embarrassment. But 
I feel that lean do no less than advert to the allusion which has been made by 
the distinguished individual who has just sat down, to my own native State. 
He has referred to the constitution of Massachusetts, and has truly told you, 
that its adoption struck a death-blow to slavery within the limits of that 
commouwealth. But it was not, I am sorry to say, until very lately, that 
Massachusetts could be induced to do, what consistency with that constitution 



the slave-trade 
and also to 
having the 
country, and 



14 

demanded, in relation to slavery in the uational district of Columbia. Slavery 
iu that district exists only by the will of the national government. Of that 
government, Massachusetts, in virtue of belonging to the Union, is an integral 
part, and therefore divided with her sister-states the responsibility of con- 
tinuing slavery, with all its concomitant horrors, in the district of Columbia. 
But it gives me great pleasure to say, that in this matter also Massachusetts 
has now done her duty. Through the voice of her legislature, at its last 
session, she pronounced slavery to be a heinous wrong— a violation, at once, 
of all human justice, of the eternal laws of God, and of the great principles 
which coustitute the basis of our republican constitution and government ; 
and declared it to be the duty of Congress immediately to abolish slavery and 
i-the district of Columbia, and in the territory of Florida, 
end to the slave-trade between the several States — Congress 
"exclusive jurisdiction" over the "territories" of the 
« commerce among the several States," that it has over the 
district of Columbia. At the previous session of her legislature, she had 
lifted up her voice of indignant remonstrance agaiust certain laws in the 
slave-states, which infringe the rights aud the personal liberty eveu of her 
own free citizens ; and adopted measures for the protection of those citizeus 
against the operation of those atrocious enactmeuts. The coustitution of 
Massachusetts makes no distinction among her citizens on accouut of their 
complexion, ueither docs that of the United States. Yet, in consequence of 
the laws, uow alluded to, in the slave-states, many of our own citizens, 
chancing to go into those States for purposes of business, or being driven 
thither by circumstances of adversity over which they have no coutrohare 
seized by certain human hyeuas, pronounced to be slaves, and thrown into 
dungeons; and if they cannot prone themselves to be the owners of their owu 
souls aud bodies, or iu other words, to be freemen, and by the testimony of 
white men, or proving themselves to be such, have not money enough to pay 
the expenses which have> been saddled upon them by those same human 
hyenas, they are sold into perpetual slavery. There is in the slave-states 
another class of laws, enacted with special reference to free coloured mariners, 
scarcely less injurious to citizens of our free-states. Under this class of laws, 
free coloured persons on board vessels visiting the ports of slave-states are 
taken from the vessels and thrust into prison, incarcerated^till the vessels leave 
port, when, if called for, they are permitted to go on board ; but if they are 
not called for, which sometimes happeus, these also are doomed to all the 
horrors of the vilest system that ever saw the sun ! Of the kidnappings 
perpetrated under these two classes of laws, there is scarcely any end in 
our country. Thousands of them occur annually. Massachusetts has now 
pronounced them an outrage upon the constitution of the land, and will, it is 
to be hoped, soon take measures to effect a legal decision of the question of 
their constitutionality by the Supreme Court of the nation, and thus— for no 
one can doubt what that decision would be— impose on the geueral govern- 
ment the duty of seeing that none of them be any longer enforced. I congra- 
tulate Englishmen, though I must ueeds do so with a feeliug of deep humilia- 
tion, that these atrocious laws are not, so far as I have beeu able to loam, 
attempted to be enforced agaiust the subjects of Queen Victoria. A friend 
of mine, some years ago, had occasion to visit Charleston, South Carolina. On 
board the ship, in which he took passage, was a coloured man. On her 
officer, as usual, came ou board in search of coloured 



I 



15 

men. But the captain, understanding the officer's object, and feeling a peculiar 
regard for this coloured mariner, very adroitly put him into a boat, and 
seut him on board a British vessel, theu lying in the harbour. And there, under 
the red cross of your own English monarchy, he found that protection which 
the aegis of our American eagle was not broad enough to throw around him. 
If every other free-state in America would but do as Massachusetts has done, 
slavery would soon cease to disgrace our national capital ; for the free-states 
do in reality, hold the power of the nation. They have but to exercise that 
power, and slavery in America, so far at least as it is a national affair, would 
be at an end. I canuot sit down without regretting my incapacity to express 
the gratitude I feel on this occasion, in seeing before me such an audience, 
and especially that I am permitted to behold the venerated Chairman of this 
noble body, whose long, and energetic, and well-directed labours, in behalf of 
the suffering bondmen, have won for him so exalted a place among the 
benefactors of mankind. And I feel scarcely less grateful that I am permitted 
to behold, also, that other veteran in the great cause of emancipation, who 
sits at the Chaib man's right hand, and who, by his unrivalled eloquence in 
advocating the great rights of human nature, has excited the admiration and 
love of the friends of those rights in every quarter of the civilized globe. 
They are the two personages whom I have often said I would go further to 
see, thau any other two beings on the surface of the earth. And both are now 
before me, and I am 'permitted to look on them with my own eyes. Surely, 
if it be not the happiest occasion of my existence, it at least furnishes a rich 
compensation for all the pains I have taken to come hither. I will not, in 
imitation of my good friend opposite, introduce any exhortations, nor ask for 
any pledges. We need no pledges from this gentleman, (Mr. O'Connell), to 
assure us of his unintermitting perseverance in the work of emancipating 
the oppressed. I know that'his creed is founded on no considerations of 
colour, of clime, or of sects. The world is his country ; all mankind are his 
countrymen. I know as certaiuly as though it were proclaimed from the blue 
vault above by an angel's voice, that he will persevere unto the end, in this 
great and glorious cause. The distinguished gentleman has alluded to his 
former rebukes of a certain portion of the American people. I am glad he 
has not weakened their force by offering an apology for them. They need no 
apology. They were richly merited. And I can assure him, that the reading 
of them, as they have been sent forth from time to time, has done my heart 
good ; for I kuew them to be Christian rebukes, the natural manifestations of 
a righteous iudignatiou against hypocrisy and oppression. Many a slave- 
holder has trembled in his shoes, as his eye has run over the reports of those 
thrilling speeches, in which the eloquent gentleman has referred so frequently 
to the inconsistent republicans of North America. 

The Rev. T. Scales then read the following exposition of the 
objects of the Convention, prepared at the request of the Committee of 
the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society : — 

It is of the utmost importance, in the very outset of our proceedings 
as a Convention, that we should virtually understand each other, and 
he agreed upon the ground we occupy, and the object which, in our 
united capacity, we propose to act together to accomplish. 



16 
This is necessary, that our proceedings may be uniform and con- 
sistent, and that no topics of a foreign and irrelevant character may he 
introduced to divide our attention, or to divert us from the one great end 
we all have in common. 

That evils in abundance, and in a vast and frightful variety, exist 
throughout our world, we must all feelingly deplore, and the sooner 
remedies for these evils are devised and applied, so that they may be 
meliorated and effectually cured, we shall readily acknowledge to be 
most desirable. But our attention is now called to one monstrous evil, 
of a character sufficiently marked and distinctive to bear a special 
designation j and for the eradication and destruction of this evil, we, in 
our office as delegates, and members of this Convention, are summoned 
and have come hither, at the special invitation of the Committee of the 
British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society— that we may confirm one 
another in our hatred of that great wrong— in our purpose and reso- 
lution to oppose it ; and that by our calm, solemn, and enlightened 
deliberations we may devise such methods of future co-operation, as 
may, by the guidance and blessing of the Most High God, the fountain 
of all wisdom and goodness, and the common Father of our whole race, 
the more speedily conduct to its utter final overthrow in every part of 
our habitable world. That evil is slavery— direct, unequivocal, abso- 
lute slavery— not other evils of a kindred character, or which in the 
opinion of some may be of equal, or even greater magnitude, or which 
may be classed by some philosophical philanthropists under the same 
head, and called by the same name; but, if we may so speak, slavery 
proper, in its own distinct and essential attributes. 

It has been truly observed by an eloquent writer, "that a great 
variety of human conditions, relations, and tenures, and some of them 
not only innocent in themselves, but indispensable to the social state 
are often confounded with slavery." This confusion of things which 
differ, has been the occasion of much mischief, has tended to weaken 
the convictions entertained by many, of the enormity of slavery, to 
confirm its upholders in their adherence to the system, and has sup- 
plied them with a plea in its justification, and an additional pretext for 
its continuance. 

Political disabilities have been denounced as slavery, and every re- 
striction which either civil or ecclesiastical legislation in any country 
has imposed upon the enjoyment of perfect liberty of conscience and 



17 

of worship, has been represented as only another of its forms • but in 
whatever light we may regard them, and by whatever terms of reprehen- 
sion we may feel ourselves moved, or deem ourselves warranted to 
condemn such pernicious infringements of human rights, it is only by 
a figure of speech, that they are designated slavery : since they may 
exist, in their worst forms, and exert their fatal influence, in countries 
and communities, where slavery, properly so called, is entirely unknown 
The same may be predicated of many other forms of law, of injustice 
and oppression, which are utterly inconsistent with the law of God 
and the happiness of man, but which, though they may sometimes 
be called slavery must be distinguished from it, since they want its 
essential attributes and features. Slavery, then, is a condition in /, 
winch man presumes to claim property in his fellow-man ;-wrests L 
from another the right he has to himself, and assumes to be his master ft 
and owner; which reduces man-moral, responsible, immortal man t, 
who was made in the image of God-to the state of a mindless and * 
irresponsible brute, whom his proprietor is at liberty to use according 
to his own pleasure, to buy or sell, and work as any other portion of 
his cattle or chattels. So that it is not merely a fact, but it is the 
very letter of the law in many slave countries, that « the slave is one , , 
who is bought or sold, and held as property." « That slaves " mean- 
ing human beings, the sons of God, of the very same flesh aud blood 
wi h these legislators, "shall be deemed, taken, reputed, and adjudged 
to be chattels personal in the hands of their masters, and possessions 
to all intents and purposes whatsoever," and in some also as "real 
estate. 

That this is a cruel usurpation, an outrage on humanity, an insult 
to the God who made us and «fc has made of one Mood all , ' 
nanons f men vko dwell on all the face of the earth, is a proposition 
which merely to state is to prove, and which no process of reasoning 
an make more evident and convincing, than its mere announcement* 
to parties who are not warped by the influence of the evil itself, or 

ZI' T S ^ ^ enriChed hy itS S' ainS - Xt is »* onty to 
everse such unrighteous decrees, but also, and even more, to rescue 
the unhappy Vlctlms of ^ j n ^ ^ > 

we thus confederate. This is our high enterprise. We come not he 

herS : V T^ **" ° f ^^ *° ^ce or adjul 
the real or supposed inequalities of rank or order, of precedence or 



lit 



subordination, as they exist in different countries and communities and 
have been introduced and established by the course of events, and by 
the usages and customs or prejudices of mankind. All these we leave 
untouched-they form no part of our business here; as the Delegates 
of this Convention, we are not, I presume, called to discuss and settle 
the wrongs and grievances of the free; but, freemen ourselves, and 
jealous of our rights, we meet in behalf of the despised and degraded 
victims of thraldom, that we may raise them from the dust, and lift 
them to the rank of manhood, that we may break their galling fetters 
and bring them into the glorious liberty which is their birth-right; and 
thus roll away from religion and from the respective eountnesto which 
we belong, and whieh we come hither to represent, the stain and re- 
proach by which they have been so long dishonoured. 

Early in the last year, the project of formmg a Society for the abo- 
lition of slavery and the slave-trade occupied the attention of some of 
those friends of the negro race, whose exertions, under the blessing of 
God, had so materially contributed to achieve the great work of emanci- 
pation in our own colonies. In the month of March, an mutation was 
sent to all the delegates who had assembled in London in the years 
1833 1837, and 1838, to meet at Exeter Hall, on Wednesday, 
April 17th, for the purpose of considering the propriety of the feta- 
tion of a Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Slave- 
Trade throughout the world, by moral, religious, and other influences 
no sanction being given to the employment of an armed force. Great 
care was taken to make this invitation as extensive as possible, so that 
it might embrace the great constituency who had been so active in he 
previous struggle. On the day appointed, a considerable body of gentle- 
men assembled in Exeter Hall, almost the whole of them having come 
up from the country, prepared to express not only their own feelings but 
those of the friends of the cause generally with whom hey had held 
consultation. The meeting was attended by the Eight Hon. Dr. 
I„« T o N , Sib G E o*a E Sxhick.a.b, Sm ****** Wilkot, and 
Mr. Tukneb, members of Parliament, and was especially indebted to 
the first of these gentlemen for the sedulous attention which he paid to 
the business of the day, and the facilities he afforded for the settlement 
of some difficulties which arose. 
. The general grounds and objects of the movemen were set forth by 
Mr. StLe, to whom it is not out of place or at all invidious in me here 



19 

to state, which I do most fervently and cordially, and from my own 
knowledge, that our great cause, and the cause of humanity itself, owes 
a large debt, and whom both hemispheres may delight to hail and to 
honour. 

The Society was then constituted, and the following resolutions as its 
basis, and for its future government, were adopted on the succeeding 
day: — 

" I. That the name of this Society be, < The British and Foreign Anti- \ \ 
Slavery Society.' ' J 

" II. That the object of the Society be the universal extinction of 
slavery and the slave-trade, and the protection of the rights and interests 
of the enfranchised population in the British possessions, and of all 
persons captured as slaves. 

" III. That the following be the fundamental principles of the 
Society :— that so long as slavery exists, there is no reasonable prospect 
of the annihilation of the slave-trade, and of extinguishing the sale and 
barter of human beings ; that the extinction of slavery and the slave- 
trade will be attained most effectually by the employment of those 
means which are of a moral, religious, and pacific character ; and that 
no measures be resorted to by this Society in the prosecution of these 
objects but such as are in entire accordance with these principles. 

'• IV. That the following be among the means to be employed by 
this Society : — 

" 1. To circulate, both at home and abroad, accurate information on 
the enormities of the slave-trade and slavery ; to furnish evidence to 
the iuhabitants of slave-holding countries uot only of the practica- 
bility, but of the pecuniary advantage of free labour ; to diffuse 
authentic intelligence respecting the results of emancipation in Hayti, 
the British Colonies, and elsewhere ; to open a correspondence with the 
abolitionists in America, France, and other countries, and to encourage 
them in the prosecution of their objects, by all methods consistent with 
the principles of this Society. 

"2. To recommend the use of free-grown produce, as far as practi- 
cable, in preference to slave-grown, and to promote the adoption of 
fiscal regulations in favour of free labour. 

"3. To obtain the unequivocal recognition of the principle, that the II 
slave, of whatever clime or colour, entering any portion of the British " 



, dominions, shall be free, the same as upon the shores of the United 
Kingdom, and to carry this principle into full and complete effect. 

« 4. To recommend that every suitable opportunity be embraced for 
evincing, in our intercourse with slave-holders and their apologists, our 
j. abhorrence of the system which they uphold, and our sense of its utter 
I'i incompatibility with the spirit of the Christian religion." 

Almost coeval with the formation of the Society, was the considera- 
tion of a proposal for holding a General Convention, made on the 31st 
May, 1839. The attention of the Committee was called to this object 
in a communication from the Birmingham Anti-Slavery Society, 
quoting from an article in the New York Emancipator, of March 21st, 
1838. A sub-committee was at once appointed to prepare a circular, 
which was adopted at a subsequent meeting, and ordered to be extensively 
issued in the English language, and also to be translated into other lan- 
guages. This circular contained the fundamental principles of the 
Society, and concluded in these words : ■ 

« The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, in thus announcing 
itself to the friends of the slave of every nation, strongly urges it upou 
them, wherever it may be practicable to associate themselves, and 
unitedly as well as individually to labour for the extinction of slavery ; 
—a system which, whether regarded in a political, moral, or religious 
point of view, isalike inimical to the prosperity of nations, corrupting 
and demoralizing to every community in which it exists, and utterly at. 
If variance with the spirit and precepts of Christianity. For the purpose 
|/of promoting this great and truly Christian object, the Society lias con- 
' eluded to hold a General Conference in London, to commence on the 
12th of June, 1840, in order to deliberate on the best means of pro- 
moting the interests of the slave, of obtaining his immediate and 
unconditional freedom ; and, by every pacific measure, to hasten the 
utter extinction of the slave-trade. To this Conference they earnestly 
invite the friends of the slave of every nation and of every clime." 

Thus cordially invited, the friends of humanity and of the slave have 
as cordially responded, and have come from the east and the west, the 
north and south, to unite with those who have called them together in 
this hallowed Convention, to discuss a question of the deepest interest 
to the human family, and to devise means for bringing to a speedy 
termination all those forms of slavery, and that revolting traffic in 
slaves, which have done so much to blight and desolate some of the 



2] 

largest and fairest portions of our globe. Most fervently do I wish and 
pray — and do I presume in indulging and expressing my conviction, 
that this august assembly has already in spirit devoutly breathed the \ 
aspiration to Him from whom all Holy desires, all good counsels, and \ 
all just works do proceed ! — that he may inspire our hearts with love, 
and our councils with wisdom, and deign to employ and bless our 
efforts to the triumph of righteousness .and mercy, and to the world's 
deliverance. 

E. BAINES,Esq., M.P.— I have nothing to address to the meeting, except to 
move that its cordial thanks he given to Mr. Scales for the very lucid exposi- 
tion he has just made of the ohjects of the meeting ; and to express my earnest 
desire that those objects he has so well descrihed, and the importance of which 
I hope we all earnestly feel, may he attained. I have also to express, and I do 
it with great gratification, the pleasure I have in once more seeing my vener- 
able friend, Thomas Ci.arkson. I am happy also to he surrounded hy a great 
numher of influential men from all countries, who have come to promote this 
god-like work. I hope they will continue to exercise that spirit of benevo- 
lence which has been so well expressed hy my honourahle and learned friend, 
—that they will make a movement in advance, and that that movement will 
never cease till it has effected the liberty of all mankind. That such a result 
will be accomplished I have no doubt, though it may not be realized in our 
time. Who would have expected when our venerable friend first entered on 
his lahours, that so much would have been effected as has already heen 
attained ? Who would have expected to find the slave-trade abolished, and 
slavery itself, so far as England is concerned ? I will not further detain the 
meeting, except by proposing, 

" That the thanks of this meeting be presented to the Eev. Thomas 
Scales, for having prepared the valuable paper, now read, setting forth 
the objects of the Convention." 

The Rev. J. H. JOHNSON, (Vicar of Tilshead).— It is with feelings of very 
great pleasure that I rise to second the motion which has just been made. As 
a warm and sincere friend to universal liberty I feel peculiar gratification not 
only hecause there appears to be one unanimous feeling that the slave shall 
always meet with your sympathy and assistance so long as he is in hondage but 
also because I see here persons of every political shade of opinion, and of 
various religious sects. I hail this as one of those delightful signs of the times 
when men shall learn to love as brethren, and to spend their short remaining 
lives not in bickering-not in quarrels, hut in one grand effort to remove from 
the face of the earth one of the greatest scourges which has ever afllicted 
mankind. I feel pleasure, because I am assured that the Divine counsel must 
ever attend efforts of this description, and hecause we have entered on the 
husiness of the day, by first imploring, each one for himself, the direction of 
Almighty God, without whom nothing is strong and nothing is holy. Vain are 
all the contrivances of slave-owners to keep the prey within their grasp, if the 
uod of love interpose on our behalf. He has promised that if, whatever our 



22 

hands find to do, we do it with all our might, He will he with lis in exercising 
works of piety and mercy. So long as there shall be a child of Adam in 
sorrow, or in the grasp of tyranny and oppression, it is our duty to go on 
in this cause. As Christians, professing to feel for the spiritual welfare of 
the world, we have much to do ere the gospel can be received by them. Let 
the African look at a Christian and know him to be auimated by feelings 
like ours, and then we can expect a patient hearing. But what has he gene- 
rally seen in the white man ? Appropriately has he styled him " a white . 
devil," having every thing but kindness, and love, and mercy, on his lips and 
in his heart. Is this the way to send the bright beams of gospel light on that 
benighted land 1 Is it to be by oppression, by wrong, by robbery, by murder, 
that we aretoteach him the lessons of Jesus ? Oh no. It is by going amongst 
them, taking nothing of theirs, but giving them all we can, by laying out our 
lives and all we possess in order to do them service. Wheu they see white 
men cease to wrong them they will listen to them. When they see hearts of 
benevolence, then we may expect that they will throng to the mission- 
aries of the cross, and hear the gospel of Christ. When I see Africa, that 
large part of the world, covered with paganism, I cannot help thinking that 
it is owing to the conduct of Christians that it is so benighted ; still I trust 
the time will not be long, ere through the length and breadth of Africa the 
gospel of love and mercy shall be spread ; and men be taught there, as we 
have been taught here, that with God there is no respect of persons, that 
whether a man be carved in ebony or ivory, he is equally acceptable to Him. 
Animated by these considerations, let us biud ourselves together, not by vows, 
but as one whole family, going forth uuder the blessing of Jesus to conquer 
the bad habits of bad meu, to show them that it is to their interest, both here 
and there, to let the oppressed go free. With these sentiments, and apolo- 
gizing for the length of time I have occupied, I beg most cordially to second 
the motion. 

The resolution was then put and agreed to. 

Mr. JOSEPH STURGE.— I beg before the Chairman withdraws, to intro- 
duce to him, and to the meeting, Henuy Beckford from Jamaica, who three 
years ago was himself a slave. 

Mr. HENRY BECKFORD, (of Jamaica). -I pray Godto look down in mercy 
upon the labours of this Society, which has been formed in this country to 
deliver us from bondage. I rejoice to see the kind gentleman who, as the root 
of this Society, relieved my body from suffering. I rejoice to tender my thanks 
to the British ladies from one end of the laud to the other. I have seen the 
blood run down the negro's back ; I have seen the poor creatures confined in 
chains ; but how shall I rejoice when I return to my native country, to tell my 
fricuds that I have seen those gentlemen who delivered us from the accursed 
system which was the ruin of men's souls as well as their bodies ! Slavery 
brought men down to the level of four-footed beasts ; but now, wheu I return, 
no man can ask me where I have been. I came here as a freeman, and I shall 
return as the same. I was a slave for twenty-eight years, but look at me and 
work on There are other parts of the world where slavery now exists, but I 
trust the negroes there will soon become freemen as I am to-day. We hope, 
however, that you will assist ns till we become more thoroughly established 
in the blessings we now enjoy, and we will assist yon by our prayers till 
slavery is abolished throughout the world. I hope that this assembly will 






eujoy the blessing of God, a 
berations. It is good to be t 
engaged in promoting His cause. 

Thomas Clarkson, Esq., then retired from the chair, and on the 
motion of Mr. Alexander, seconded by Mr. Bennet, W. T. Blaih, 
Esq., one of the vice-chairmen was called to occupy it. 

The CHAIRMAN. — In being called on immediately to succeed our 
venerable and respected President, I cannot but feel and express how un- 
deserving I am of the distinction which has been conferred upon me. I can 
truly say, without any affectation, that there are very many in the assembly 
who possess far stronger claims and better qualifications than myself to occupy 
such a position. In bowing, however, to the decision of the Convention, I have 
only to throw myself on the kind consideration and indulgence of the 
assembly ; and to solicit for myself and my respected colleagues your united 
support, in our eudeavours to maintain that good order and harmony which is 
essential to the credit of our proceedings. This meeting having been opened 
in the usual way, by the speech of our respected President, it would be un- 
suitable aud unnecessary for me to detain you by any observations of my own. 
But I will just hazard one remark, which may not be altogether unimportant in 
reference to the harmony of future proceedings. It must be obvious to every 
one present, that this meeting is composed of gentlemeu entertaining a great 
diversity of sentiment upon political and religious subjects, as well as others ; 
though cordially united, I trust, as one man, in the great object which brings 
us together. I trust, that no opinion or expression will escape in the progress 
of discussion that can possibly wound the feelings or offend the innocent pre- 
judices of any one, that a spirit of forbearance and conciliation will be main- 
tained throughout the proceedings, and nothing will be suffered to clash with 
the paramount object we have in view. 

Mr. G. Thompson, rose to submit a resolution expressive of the 
feelings of the Convention in reference to the President, which 
motion was withdrawn in order to be re-introduced at the close of the 
Convention. 

WENDELL PHILLIPS, Esq. (of Boston, Massachusetts, U. S.)— Those 
who may have watched the proceedings of this Convention during the presence 
of Thomas Clarkson, will have observed that we have not yet provided for 
the formation of any roll of membership. There is no constituted body 
emanating from this Convention to receive the credentials of delegates, 
aud inscribe their names. Several friends who are interested in the matter 
have proposed to make a motion to that effect, in the regular course of 
business, but it was suggested that as it might lead to discussion, it would 
be better to delay it till after the retirement of our venerated friend. I make 
these remarks to apologize for the seeming inappropriateness of the motion 
which I have to submit to the meeting. It is as follows : — 

" That a Committee of five be appointed to prepare a correct list of 
the members of this Convention, with instructions to include in such list 
all persons bearing credentials from any Anti-Slavery body." 



24 

It may be necessary before I sit down to state the reason of making thai 
motion, when to all appearance there exists on this table a list of delegates. 
I do it because, eoming from the state of Massachusetts, there are several of 
my eo-delegates, who though in this Hall, have not reeeived an entrance as 
members of the Convention by the authority of the Committee of the British 
and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, who have undertaken to settle the qualifi- 
cations of membership of this body. Under their eontrol the list before me 
has been formed ; a list very useful for the purposes of reference or commu- 
nication between the various members who have arrived in this eity. But 
some of us feeling ourselves, shall I use too harsh a term when I say, 
aggrieved ! by this act of the Committee, have thought it our duty to bring the 
subject before the Convention. I allude to the refusal of tickets of admission 
to the women of Massachusetts. When the call, which was read by Mr. 
Tbedgold, reached Ameriea, we found that it was an invitation to the friends 
of the slave of every nation, and of every clime. Massachusetts has for 
several years'acted on the prineiple of admitting women to an equal seat with 
men in the deliberative bodies of anti-slavery societies. When the Massa- 
chusetts Anti-Slavery Society received that paper, it interpreted it, as it was 
its duty, in the broadest and most liberal sense. If there be any other paper 
emanating from the Committee limiting to one sex the qualification of mem- 
bership, there is no proof, and as an individual I have no knowledge, that such 
a paper ever reached Massachusetts. We stand here in eonsequcnee of your 
invitation, and knowing our custom, as it must be presumed you did, we had a 
right to interpret "friends of the slave," to include women as well as men. 
In such cireuuistanees we do not think it just or equitable to that State, nor 
to America in general, that after the trouble, the saerifiee, the self-devotion of 
a part of those who leave their families, and kindred, and occupatious in their 
own land, to come 4000 miles to attend this World's Convention, they should 
be refused a plaee in its deliberations. The meeting will observe that I have 
purposely introdueed into the motion language whieh brings the question 
before the Convention. 

PROFESSOR ADAM, (of Cambridge, Massachusetts, U. S.)— I shall 
merely state, that I have great pleasure in expressing my entire coneurrenee 
in the sentiments that have now been stated to the meeting. I will only add, 
if the ladies who have come from America are not deemed entitled, in eonse- 
quence of the credentials they bear, to a place in this assembly, I feel for one 
that I am not entitled to oceupy such a position. My credentials proceed 
from the same persons, and from the same societies, and bear the same names 
as theirs. I have no other authority to appear amongst you, to take a place 
in your proceedings, and give a voiee in your deliberations, than that right 
which is equally possessed by the ladies to whom a plaee among you has been 
denied. In the Society from which I have eome, female exertion is the very 
life of us, and of all that we have done, and all we hope to do. To exelude 
females, would be to affix a stigma upon them. 

Mr. STACEY.— I feel that anyone is plaeedina very invidious position 
in having to speak a word against the proposal now made. It is incon- 
sistent with our natural feelings to take a part which may seem in the least 
degree to imply an unfavourable opinion of the conduet, exertions, influence, 
or power of our female friends in this cause. I believe no persons esti- 
mate more highly than the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti- 
Slavery ■ Society do, the bright example and philanthropic efforts of our 



25 

female frieuds. But the custom of this country is well known and uniform. 
In all matters of mere business, unless females are especially associated 
together, and announced as such, in the promotion of the objects in view, they 
do not become a part of the working committees. Having, from its formation, 
been a member of the Committee from which the invitation referred to was 
sent, and having taken a constant part in its proceedings, I feel myself in 
some degree qualified to bear testimony to the meaning of such documents as 
it has issued ; and I do take the liberty of saying that, to my knowledge, the 
document calling this Convention had no reference to, nor did the framers of 
it ever contemplate thatit would include, females. We did become aware in 
the progress of the business that there was a disposition on the part of some 
of our American brethren, and that with the best intention, to construe the 
document in question as it might have been construed, had it been issued by 
themselves — that is, that it might include females, as well as. men. The 
earliest moment that this circumstance came to the knowledge of the Com- 
mittee, that Committee issued another circular, which bears date the " 15th of 
February," in which the description of those who are to form the Convention 
is set forth as consisting of "gentlemen.'' "We thus felt that we had done all 
we could to prevent inconvenience to our American friends on this subject, 
and supposed that we should not have been brought into difficulty with the 
question. But as the point has been introduced, I take it for granted, that 
sooner or later the opinion of the Convention must be taken, as to whether 
or not females are to become a part of the Convention. I waive all remarks 
with respect to the operatiou of the proposal now made ; for I think that the 
sooner the matter is brought to a conclusion, the better. 

Dr. BOWBING.— I think the custom of excluding females is more honoured 
in its breach than in its observance. In this country, sovereign rule is placed 
in the hands of a female, and one who has been exercising her great and benig- 
naut influence in opposing slavery, by sanctioning, no doubt, the presence of 
her illustrious consort, at an Anti-Slavery meeting. We are associated with 
a body of Christians, who have given to their women a great, honourable, and 
religious prominence. I look upon this delegation from America as one of the 
most interesting, the most encouraging, and the most delightful symptoms of 
the times. I hope that a committee will be appointed to consider this ques- 
tion, and to report on the facts of the case. I cannot believe that we shall 
refuse to welcome gratefully the co-operation which is offered to us. 

The Rev. J. BURNETII feel that, if there ever was a time when it 
was necessary for this Convention to be calm and self-collected, this is that 
moment. I have no hesitation in saying, that I feel that the Convention 
itself is periled in this discussion, and whilst I have the highest possible 
regard for the ladies of America and England, and whilst neither for the one 
nor for the other, can I entertain for a moment any feeling but one of 
the greatest respect ; I must at the same time claim your indulgence 
while I take a calm and deliberate view of the question,— one of the 
most important that can be discussed in connexion with the mere forms 
of this Convention. We must be calm, and we must be firm ; and I shall be 
as firm in the maintenance of my sentiments, as I shall be calm in the state- 
ment of them. The gentleman who has proposed the motion, which is now 
before you, stated his case very well and very calmly ; and very fairly 
stated the claims which the ladies have to the kind consideration of all for 
their works of usefulness, and their energy in those works. We hail the 



continuance of their works of usefuluess ; we tliauk them for the past, we 
trust them in the present, aud we anticipate great things from them in the 
future. I would apply this to England as well as to America. The ladies 
of England are active and dihgent in all works of benevolence, they have 
frequently stimulated to the creation of such institutions as this, when the 
lords of creation did not think of creating them. The ladies have earned 
them on, when the gentlemen would have found it impossible, from the mul- 
tiplicity of demands made on their time by the business m which they are 
engaged. But let me say, and I take it for granted, I shall carry with me the 
gentleman who moved the resolution when I say that, Enghsh ladies and 
English gentlemen are accustomed to consider what takes place on this side 
of the water, just as Americau ladies and Americau gentlemen consider 
what takes place on their side the water. He thinks that he should put 
an American interpretation on American phraseology aud so he ought ; but 
upon the same principle he will agree that we ought to put an English inter- 
pretation on English phraseology. So far, we stand on precisely the same 
..round. But let me add further, that in taking this question into considera- 
tion, and deKbeating upon it, it never did occur to the Committee of the 
British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, that they were inviting ladies from 
any part of the globe, to take an essential part in the proceedings of the Con- 
veution. It never was contemplated in the formation of the Society ; it never 
was practised iu the doings of the Society ; it never was intended in the reso- 
lutions of the Society. I am not now saying, be it remembered, whether it 
was right or wrong ; but, this I do say, that it m 
consequently, it has come upon us uow without c 
was anticipated that such a contingency could a 
has been stated by the gentleman who has just addressed you 1 
with the indignity offered to these ladies, I should say, that no such mdigmty 
was intended. We place them on a level with our own ladies. Uur 
wives and our daughters are iu the same position with them. And 
sorely, if they are placed in the same position as the ladies of England 
it cannot be said that we have cast indignity upon them. I should not 
have thought that America would select ladies for such an object. iJut 
I welcome those ladies to this Hall ; I welcome them to all the pro- 
ceedings where ladies can, according to the custom of the country, take 
part. I thauk them for the self-sacrificing devotedness that nought 



mtemplated, and 
ir contemplation. It never 
With regard to what 
' i connexion 



1 of the feelings 
3 intended 



them here. Nothing could be a greater i 

of the British uation than the idea that the slightest affront -b 

them. Nothing could be a greater mistake thau to suppose that anything 

was meant towards them hut the profoundest affection, the deepest respect, 

and the most cordial welcome. But it is quite another thing to clothe 

them with office. To make officers of them is one thing— in connexion 

with a custom not pursued in this country; to receive them with kind c 

sideration is quite another. My own impression is, that as w 

the individuals we cau ohtain in the country to help ns onward, so we must 

have their help, and we cannot do without it. But this great change 

in all the practices, and feelings, and habits of Englaud— the propriety of 

these practices, and feelings, and hahits, is another question, a question 

which I am not called now to argue— would, I am convinced, keep away 

those whom we cannot do without, and would take away from us those 

with whom wc are acting already. I do state my firm conviction — I 



! need all 



27 

use strong language to express a strong eouvietion — it would be better 
that tlie Conveution sliould at this moment be dissolved, than that this 
resolutiou should be adopted. Some gentlemen say " no, no." I wish them 
to think seriously and gravely. If this Convention should take the eourse 
proposed by the mover and seeonder of the resolution, I am deeply con- 
vinced that they will sincerely regret it. I should say that our American 
friends would add another laurel to those they have already reaped in the 
Anti-Slavery field, amid their deep self-denial and great suffering, were 
they to say at this moment, " Let us not make shipwreek of our vessel, let 
us, not even for a moment, put her in a perilous sea. As we are in England 
let us aet as England does ; and when EngEsh abolitionists come to America, 
we shall expect the same ready couformity. There is no violation of prineiple 
in the adoption of the spirit of the land to which we have eome, to mingle 
with the inhabitants for the purpose of doing good." As to the first lady 
of the land, our honourable and worthy friend, who has just sat down 
knows as well as most men, and better than most men, the peculiarities of 
that case. It is not necessary, because we have a Queen, henceforth to clothe 
all the ladies with office in the general management of. our social affairs. I 
do appeal to our friends, with sincere regard, both for them and for their good 
ladies, and I hope and trust they will meet the appeal as kindly as it is made. 
I beg of them to withdraw this question, and to let the Convention proceed 
to its urgent and substantial business. 

The Rev. II. GREW.— I stand here, on behalf of Ameriea, while my heart 
responds to all the eneomiums passed on the female sex in respeet to the 
importance of their eo-operation, their past good work, and their future 
efforts, without which I do not antieipate suecess j and while, at the same 
time, I wish to express that the invitation to this meeting was understood 
by many in America, in the sense represented by my respeeted brother, 
yet the proposition now made is not in accordance with my own views of 
propriety. Let me add, not that I wish to say anything of a seetarian cha- 
racter, the reception of my respeeted female friends, as a part of this 
Convention, would in the view of many who stand preeisely in the same 
position as I do on this oeeasion, be not only a violation of your customs, 
aud of the eustoms of other countries, but of the ordinance of Almighty God, 
who has a right to appoint our serviees aecording to his sovereign will. 

The Rev. N. COLVER (from Boston, Massachusetts, U. S.)— I do not rise 
to discuss this question. I came at the invitation of the Society, with their 
explanation before the public, which was understood by a great portion of 
the American eommunity preeisely as you understaud it here. From an acci- 
dental omission on the part of Mr. Phillips the case has not eome fairly 
before the meeting. The Ameriean delegation are represented as being one 
ou this subjeet. It is not so. That brother and others are from a Soeiety 
which allows of ladies sitting in its meetings ; but a large portion of the 
delegates are from another branch who have resisted this attempt to ehange 
the customs of the country ; and but for the assurance that the Conventiou 
would be composed as it now is, a large number of us would not have been 
here to-day. 

Mr. STACEY.— I believe it will not be for the good of the" meeting 
to go into the abstraet question. I therefore think it is time to have a 
substantive resolution upon it. With that view I beg to propose the follow- 
ing amendment : — . 



" That this Convention, upon a question arising as to the admission- 
of females appointed as delegates from America to take their seats in 
this body, resolve to deeide this question in the negative." 

The Rev. ELON GALUSHA, (of New York, U. S.)-It affords me great 
pleasure to second the amendment ; and you will allow me to say, that I am 
one of the representatives of a portion of the American public, whose number 
is equal to half the population of this great metropolis. And although I have 
travelled through all the free states of the Union, I know not of a siugle 
individual belonging to the body which I represent, whose views on the subject 
do not accord with those of our British friends. I would further say, 
that it is my honest and unwavering conviction, that those who entertain a 
different view of the question are an exceedingly small minority of the 
American people. In support of the other side of this questiou, reference 
has been made to your present sovereign. I most cordially approve of the 
policy and sound wisdom, and commend to the consideration of our American 
female friends who are so deeply interested in the subject, the example of 
your noble Queen, who by sanctioning her consort, His Royal Highness, Prince 
Albert, in taking the Chair, on an occasion not dissimilar to this, showed her 
sense of propriety by putting her Head foremost in an assembly of gentle- 
men. I have no objection to woman's beiug the neck to turn the head aright, 
but do not wish to see her assume the place of the head. 

Dr. ROLPH, (from Upper Canada).— I feel very reluctant to approach this 
question ; but I should be wanting in my duty to my own feelings, aud also 
to a very large portion of ladies on -the continent of America, if I did uot 
express my warm approbation of the resistless appeal made to your feelings by 
the eloquent observations of the first Reverend Gentleman who took the nega- 
tive side of the question. It must be remembered that this is a question on 
which America is undecided, and the decision of the subject by this Con- 
vention would impose upon us the invidious office of umpire between two 
contending parties in that country. I have witnessed the self-devotedness, the 
heroism of Angelina Grimke, and other American females in urging the 
abolition of slavery. I am not insensible to their services, and I would be 
the last to say anything that could be construed directly or indirectly to 
reflect on their character, their heroism, and their devotedness. But in the 
consideration and construction of the letter of invitation, it appears that 
the Society of Massachusetts has interpreted it contrary to all the rest. 
The interpretation thus given ought not to outweigh the opinion founded 
on it by all others to whom it has been submitted. I trust, if the Conventiou 
comes, as I hope it will, to the negative proposition before it, that it will be 
considered neither by Americans nor Englishmen to cast a reproach on the 
services of the ladies. 

Mr. BRADBURN.— This question has occupied, and is likely to occupy, 
more time than I had hoped it would. I had hoped, that the vote would be 
taken without discussion ; that here, in a World's Convention, there would be 
very little difference of opinion on the subject, how much soever Englishmen, 
as such, might differ from some of us respecting it. ¥e have been told, that 
when the invitation was issued, no reference was made to women. But I ask, 
if, when that invitation was sent into different quarters of the globe, it was 
not intended to make this, in reality, a World's Convention of abolitionists— 



29 

that abolitionists every where should he represented in it 1 "Will any one 
undertake to say, that it was intended to exclude from representation in this 
body the abolitionists of Massachusetts, and of Pennsylvania ; for it is not 
true, as some, one has asserted, that Massachusetts is the only state that has 
sent female delegates hither 1 Do you intend to say, that the abolitionists 
of those States had not the right to elect such persons as they pleased, to 
represent them in this Convention ? But you do say this, if you exclude from 
these seats any whom those abolitionists have regularly appointed to occupy 
them. I cannot, I will not, believe, that the Committee of the British and 
Foreign Anti-Slavery Society did intend thus to tie up the hands of American 
abolitionists. And what a misnomer, to call this a "World's Convention of 
abolftionists, when some of the oldest and most thorough-going abolitionists 
in the world are denied the right to be represented in it by delegates of 
their own choice ! The Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society would have 
spurned the invitation of the Committee, had it known it was. not at 
liberty to elect its own delegates. The members of that Society are none 
of yonr half-and-half sort of abolitionists. They are thoroughly imbued 
with love for the cause ; have made sacrifices for it ; have been ready, I 
trust to die for it, if need were : and they know it were as contradictory of 
facts, as it would be ungrateful, to say, that women, in virtue of their sex, 
were unqualified to represent them in a Convention of this character. Let it 
not be forgotten, that this was designed to be a World's Convention. 

W. WILSON, Esq., (of Nottingham). I rise to know what is meant by a 
World's Convention ? 

Mr. BBADBURN resumed. — The invitation was extended to all abolitionists 
throughout the world ; and no doubt it was earnestly desired, as well as 
designed, that they should all be represented here. If this were not the grand 
prominent idea of the Committee, I know not what it was. I know that some 
time after the invitation was sent forth, and after some of our delegates had 
been appointed, a letter was published by some one, stating that gentlemen 
only were expected to attend. But we neither did nor could regard this as of 
any consequence. "We deemed the question of who should sit in the Conven- 
tion, would be determined by the Convention itself, not by any self-eonstituted 
Committee, and least of all by any individual. But we are now told, that it 
would be outraging the tastes, habits, customs, and prejudices of the English 
people, to allow women to sit in this Convention. I have a great respect for 
the customs of Old England. But I ask, gentlemen, if it be right to set up 
the customs and habits, not to say prejudices, of Englishmen, as a standard, 
for the government, on this occasion, of Americans and of persons belonging 
to several other independent nations ? It seems to me that it were, to say 
the least, very unadvisable to do so. I can see neither reason nor policy in 
so doing. Besides, I deprecate the principle of this objection. In America 
it would exclude from our Conventions all persons of colour ; for there, 
customs, habits, tastes, prejudices, would be outraged by their admission. And 
I do not wish to be deprived of the aid of those who have done so much for 
our cause, for the purpose of gratifying any mere custom or prejudice. I know 
that women have furnished most essential aid in accomplishing what has been 
accomplished in the state of Massachusetts. If, in the legislature of that 
state, I have been able to do any thing in furtherance of this cause, by keeping 
on my legs eight or ten hours, day after day, it was mainly owing to the 



30 

valuable assistance I derived from the won* of Massachusetts. And shall such 
women he denied scats in this Convention ! My friend, Geouge Thompson 
yonder, can testify to the faithful services rendered to this cause by some 
of those same women. He can tell you, that, when "gentlemen of propeity 
and standing," in broad day and in broad cloth, undertook to drive him from 
the city of Boston, putting his life in peril, it was our women who made then 
own persons a bulwark of protection around him? And shall such women 
be refused seats here in a Convention seeking the emancipation of slaves 
throughout the world? I was sorry to hear my friend from Pennsylvania 
say, that he was satisfied with the explanation which had been given 5 that we 
ought to understand the invitation in the sense in which it has been said to have 
been understood by the Committee. I object to acting on any; such undei- 
standing of it, because, as was well observed by another, it would be taking the 
English yard-stick to measure the American mmd. And as to its being a sin 
against God, to allow women to participate in the proceedings of a body like 
this, I confess I was astonished to hear such a sentiment uttered here, for this 
is neither the time nor the place to discuss that question. Another friend from 
America has said, that there is a difference of opinion there on this subject ; 
that the American delegates themselves were not united respecting it and 
that the great body of the American people were utterly opposed to the 
admission of women into such companies as this. I admit it. But I 
have to ask that friend, if he means to say, that the great body of the real, 
working abolitionists of America would be opposed to it ? I know they would 
not In America, women have taken, and they continue to take, part in 
meetings of this sort. On the American Anti-Slavery platform, they stand as 
the equals of the men, in respect, at least, of rights and privileges The 
American Anti-Slavery Society has decided, that, as members of that body 
they ought so to stand. It has been so decided in most of the ocal societies 
in Massachusetts, where the standard of abolitionism was first planted. And, 
with all deference to the abolitionists present, I say, that the best, the bravest, 
and those who have sacrificed most for this cause, are, with very few exceptions, 
decidedly on this side of the question ; and they would never have consented 
to any participation in the proceedings of this, or of any other Convention 
had they supposed that any delegates freely chosen by themselves would be 
denied the right to sit in it. Some one has said, that if women are admitted, 
they will take sides on this question. Well, what then? Have ^they not jus 
as good right to take sides as we have? But I shall be satisfied if his 
Convention, not the Committee, wiU decide who are, and who are not, entitled 
to seats here. This will also, I doubt not, satisfy the delegates whose seats 
are contested. They do not feel at liberty, I speak of those more especially 
who have come from Massachusetts, to withhold their credentials from the 
Convention, merely because a Committee, not created by this body has seen 
fit to reject them. They feel bound, in justice to those by whom they were 
sent, to impose the responsibility of receiving, or of rejecting those credentials 
upon the Convention itself. They therefore present them, m obedience to 
their convictions of duty. You, gentlemen, can dispose of them as yon please. 
The CHAIRMAN.— If the discussion proceeds, the second letter ot invita- 
tion, explanatory of the first, defining the terms in which the Convention is 
called, should be read. Perhaps it will be better that both should be read. 
Mr. TREDGOLD.— The first is to this effect. 



31 

" For the purpose of promoting this great and truly Christian object 
the Society has concluded to hold a General Conference in London, to 
commence on the 12th of June, 1840, in order to deliberate on the best 
means of promoting the interests of the Slave ; of obtaining his imme- 
diate and unconditional freedom ; and, by every pacific measure, to 
hasten the utter extinction of the Slave-Trade. To this Conference, 
they earnestly invite the friends of the Slave of every nation and of 
every clime." 

The second or explanatory letter is the following : 

Mr. PHILLIPS.— Where was that sent to ? 

Mr. TREDGOLD — To America. 

Mr. PHILLIPS.— To whom ? 

Mr. TREDGOLD.— To the Anti-Slavery friends. 

Mr. W. "WILSON.— It is of no value to read this unless it was sent to them. 

The Rev. J. BURNET.— Read it. It has been so decided by the Chairman. 

Mr. TREDGOLD proceeded — " The Committee are anxious early to 
receive from the different Anti-Slavery bodies who may appoint depu- 
ties, the names of the gentlemen who are to represent them. Such 
deputies and the members of the London Committee to form the Confe- 
rence. The business of the Conference will comprehend the following, 
amongst other matter : — information as to the results of Emancipation 
in Hayti : the British West Indies, &c. : the nature and extent of 
Slavery in the different countries where it exists, but especially as 
regards the African race and their descendants : the nature and extent 
of the Slave-Trade j and, finally, the best measures by which, con- 
sistently with the great principles on which the Society is founded, the 
total and unconditional abolition of slavery and the slave-trade can 
be obtained, and the liberties and welfare of the emancipated popu- 
lation secured." 

Mr. JOSEPH STURGE.— My friend will admit that it appeared in the 
Anti-Slavery papers of America. 

' COLONEL MILLER, (of Vermont, U. S.)— I fortunately belong to a state 
in America which has never been troubled with the woman question. The 
women were among our primeval abolitionists. They took it into their heads 
to establish a standard of liberty, and were seconded by their husbands. The 
question ought not to have come to be settled here ; it ought to have been 
settled on our own shores ; but as it is here I may state that I believe in the 
right of women, properly and duly delegated, to take a part in this cause of 
humanity. I do not claim a pre-eminence for them over men, but they were 
early in their attendance at the cross, they were the first and the last at the 
sepulchre, and from that time to this, they have taken the van in the march 
of civilization and liberty. I agree with the gentleman from Massachusetts 



that we will bow with all due deference to your decision. We are not here to 
lord it over the Convention. There is not a female delegate from the state 
to which I belong ; but if the female friends of the cause in that state were 
here, this Hall would not hold them. We have taken up time enough on this 
question, I only want a fair and honourable expression of the opinion of the 
Convention, and to that expression I pledge myself the delegates from America 
will bow. 

CAPTAIN STUART (of Bath).— There is plainly a difference of opinion 
between our friends from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and the Committee 
of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, respecting the interpretation 
of the invitation. The Committee give one interpretation ; our friends 
another. I leave it to the Convention to settle to which we are to defer ; but 
I am persuaded from having travelled in the United States and from having 
become acquainted with a large body of abolitionists both in Massachusetts 
and Pennsylvania, that some of the noblest and most uncompromising friends 
of liberty and of the slave there, are against the reception of lady delegates, 
and in favour of the British view. I am satisfied that there is a vast amount 
of that feeling. 

Mr. W. ALLEN.— There is one thing which I would submit to the Conven- 
tion. I would urge them to consider the value of the cause which we are 
all met to promote. I do not give an opinion with regard to the propriety 
of female delegates, but I do regret that a motion of this kind has been mooted 
here. It may be a subject for grave consideration at another time and in 
another place, but I lament that at this Convention, met for a different 
purpose we should have anything thrown in amongst us which is likely to 
prove an apple of discord. I put it to every one who loves the cause, whether 
such sentiments as have been advanced ought not to have been kept in abey- 
ance. During the discussion of the question I have thought of what took 
place at Ephesus ; when there was a great commotion, and the officer came in 
to quell the tumult raised, he exhorted them to quietness, not to go into dis- 
putes of that kind, adding, if there is anything to be brought forward let it 
"be determined in a lawful assembly ; for we are in danger to be called in ques- 
tion for this day's uproar." 

Mr. Gr. THOMPSON— I desire to obtain the attention of the Convention ' 
for a few moments, because the question is one on which I think the fate 
of the Convention, for all good purposes, hinges. It is my satisfaction to 
feel assured, that there is not an individual in the assembly who knows the 
view I am about to take of this question, or the vote which I am about to 
give upon it, if unhappily a vote should be called for. My esteemed friends 
who sit in your presence to-day, and whom I delight to see here, and to recog- 
nise as among the foremost and fastest defenders, both of jny principles and my 
person, in the United States of America, will bear me witness that I have 
hitherto refrained from the expression of any opinions, except those which had 
reference to the policy which might commend itself to them, in order to see 
what was their feeling of duty, and to ascertain what was their principle 
of action ; and be to them the faithful interpreter of the true state of our 
country upon the question which concerns them, our customs, our laws, 
our feelings, our prejudices, our antipathies. I have deprecated most 
sincerely the introduction of the abstract question into this Convention. I 
have anticipated it with dread ; and I now feel that though unhappily we 
are not in a condition to retrace our steps, yet we may possibly avert 






the consequences which must inevitably 'arise, if we become partizans in 
this matter, if we commit ourselves by our votes, if we array ourselves 
on one side or the other, and on a future occasion, in consequence of our 
recorded votes, should regard each other as friends with whom alone we can 
associate, or opponents from whom we must stand aloof. I am speaking of the 
effects of a decisive vote. (.Cries of no, no). Gentlemen may say " no," but I argue 
from universal experience. When a vote is given opposite to me, I caunot help 
the feeling arising in my mind, that the gentleman who has given it stands 
opposed to my conviction of what is right and wrong. But, I say, we 
may possibly avoid that, if a middle course be taken. I have listened to 
the arguments advanced on this side, and on that, of this vexed question. 
I listened with the profouudest attention to the arguments of Mr. Burnet, 
expecting that, from him— as I was justified in expecting— I should hear the 
strongest arguments that could be adduced upon this or any other subject 
upon which he might be pleased to employ his talents, or which he might 
adorn by his eloquence. What are his arguments ? Let it be premised, as I 
speak in the presence of American friends, that that gentleman is one of the 
best known controversialists in this country ; and one of the best authorities 
upon questions of business, points of order, and matters of principle. What 
are the strongest arguments which one of the greatest champions, on any 
question which he choses to espouse, has brought forward ? They are these, 
first, that English phraseology should be construed according to English usages ; 
secondly, that it was never contemplated by the Anti-Slavery Committee that 
ladies should occupy a seat in this Convention ; thirdly, that the ladies of 
England are not here as delegates ; fourthly, that he has no desire, nor has 
any other individual, to offer an affront to, still less to insult, the ladies now 
before us. These are the strong arguments, I presume the strongest argu- 
ments, which that gentleman has to adduce : for he never fails to use to the 
best advantage the resources within his reach. I look at these arguments, and 
I place on the other side of the question, the fact, that there are in this 
assembly ladies who present themselves as delegates from the oldest societies 
in America, the originators of all the other societies of America. I expected 
that Mr. Burnet would, as he was bound to do, if he intended to offer a 
successful opposition to their introduction into this Convention, grapple with 
the constitutionality of their credentials. I thought he would come to the 
question of title ; I thought he would dispute the right of a Convention 
assembled in Philadelphia for the abolition of Slavery, consisting of delegates 
from the different states in the union, and comprised of individuals of both 
sexes, to send one or all of the ladies now in our presence. I thought he 
would grapple with the fact, that those ladies came to us who have no 
slavery, from a country in which they have slaves, as the representatives 
of two millions and a half of captives. Let gentlemen when they come 
to vote on this question remember, that in receiving or rejecting these 
ladies, they acknowledge or despise, (loud cries of no, no). I ask gentlemen 
who shout "no," if they know the application I am about to make ? I did not 
mean to say you would despise the ladies, but that you would by your vote 
acknowledge or despise the parties whose cause they espouse. Something has 
been said about usages and customs. It appears that we are prepared to sanc- 
tion ladies in the employment of all means, so long as they are confessedly 
unequal with ourselves. It seems that the grand objection to their appear- 
ance amongst us is this, that it would be placing them on a footing of equality, 



34 

ii u i. „„„,_,,.,, tn niinciTJle and custom. I suppose I 

^ th t^:7L^Zo^^S which have been employed. 
?:Lfd o nVrnZtrn anxiety for "the settlement of the .nestion ; but 
I stid here fn peculiar circumstances. I have been in the country from 
IS tho- ladiL come, and I should wrong both them and myself f! &i 

It is agam replied, because it is _ ™ j thig 

time when sum gentlemen talk of not affronting such 

These ladies came from the United States, the representatives of large associ- 
SoTs .to!Xi» has spoken of a majority in Amer ca hemg opposed 

their inferior zeal 1 Oh, ^t we a 1 oppo^ea s y Convent i n, we should 

instead of being the opposers of the r enhance into 

f eel ourselves honoured ^^sTtJ 1Z?L\™ above all 

^tTm^^^^^ 

S e u^STwS 3 » W-: ST= 

with us to-day I Because f^*™^™ h ™ principles to make the 
absorbed in business or too temp ™g -^ J e ca ^ ed their banner 
San ;L Sa vaf 4ile t^ Zntave humbly followed in the rear. It is well 

££ IS National W£»gJ^^»£S£ 
a mission, to rouse the spirits of New England w°™». d ; onis but 

fished woman *£*«£» ent no only^n ^ drawmg^roo ^ ^ ^ 
before the senate of Massachusetts. Le ' *™ who did not disd ain to 

which are maoiaged by ladies. These tmn s x smu* j 



fellow-labourers, that you may have their characters before you Upon the 
abstraet question I have my own feelings. I am deeided upon this point, 
that it would have been better to have kept that question out of the Con- 
vention. I have laboured up to the eleventh hour to effect this. If now 
after the expression of opinion on various sides, the motion should be 
withdrawn, with the eonsent of all parties, I should be glad. But when I 
look at the arguments against the title of these women to sit amongst us, I 
cannot but eonsider them frivolous and groundless. The simple question 
before us, rs, whether these ladies, taking into aceount the credentials they 
hold, the talent they have displayed, the sufferings they have endured, 
the journey they have undertaken, should be acknowledged by us, in virtue 
of these high titles, or be shut out for the reasons stated. One gentleman has 
said, that if we do not exelude them we shall regret it. What shall we have to 
regret ? _ Our magnanimity, our justiee, our gentlemanly feeling ? What harm 
can their admission do ? unless their opponents should feel so straitened, 
that they cannot co-operate with them, and those who admit them. It may be 
said, that beyond this place, the fact of their admission may tell against our 
eause. I have anticipated these diffieulties. But I apprehend that division 
and exelusion will be attended with still greater danger. If our frieuds by 
an expression of their opinion, in a protest against the opinion of the Com- 
mittee, to be laid on the table, can discharge their duty to those who have 
delegated them, and withdraw the motion, I should feel thankful for such a 
tei-mmation of the debate. To conelude, having seen the devoted heroism, 
the unblameable conduet of the ladies now amongst us, I felt that I should 
have been reereant to all that is honourable, and just, and grateful, if I had 
forborne to bear my testimony iu their behalf. I am perhaps, in some 
degree, to blame for the appearanee of some of these ladies. When the call 
for this Convention first went out, I wrote to the United States, expressing 
a hope to see, not only a strong muster of the male champions of the 
cause but of the ladies. What, however, I have already said to the ladies 
elsewhere, I now say on this oeeasiou, to elear myself from suspicion, that 
I had no referenee to the capacity in which they should eome. I did not 
refer to their being formally delegated. I do not remember that sueh a 
thought was before my mind. I hoped many of them might be able to come 
and I eould wish, if it were without strife and debate among us, that they 
had been a thousand times as many as they are. AVith these views I 
reeommeud the Ameriean Mends, with all the respeet I ean express, to with- 
draw their_ motion. I have boldly uttered my opinion, they have as boldly 
uttered theirs ; and as nothing is to be gained, and much may be lost by a 
vote, I repeat the expression of my hope, that they will prevent the necessity 
of taking the ayes and the noes on the question of admitting or excluding 
these onr estimable sisters ; and I hope that those ladies will be disposed to 
unite most eordially in any plan, whieh may promote the peaee of the Conven- 
tion, and the prosperity of the cause in which we are all engaged. 

Mr STACEY.-I will withdraw the amendment, on the eondition that our 
iriend from America will withdraw the original motion ; otherwise I believe 
the Convention must go to the question, yea, or nay. I trust, however, that 
we shall not be driven to this alternative. 

Mr. PHILLIPS.— It has been hinted very respeetfully by two or three 
speakers that the Delegates from the state of Massachusetts should withdraw 
their eredentials, or the motion before the meeting. The one appear* to me 



to be equivalent to the other. If this motion be withdrawn we must 
have another. I would merely ask, whether any man can suppose tlmt 
the Delegates from Massachusetts or Pennsylvania can take upon their 
shoulders the responsibility of withdrawing that list of delegates from your 
table which their constituents told them to place there, and whom they 
sanctioned as their fit representatives, because this Convention tells us that 
it is not ready to meet the ridicule of the morning papers, and to stand up 
against the customs of England. In America we listen to no such argu- 
ments. If we had done so, we had never been here as abolitionists It is 
the custom there not to admit coloured men into respectable society, and 
we have been told again and again, that we are outraging the decencies of 
humanity when we permit coloured men to sit by our side. When we have 
submitted to brick bats, and the tar tub and feathers, in America, rather than 
yield to the custom prevalent there of not admitting coloured brethren into 
our friendship, shall we yield to a parallel custom or prejudice m Old 
England? I wish to add one word. We cannot yield this question if we 
would : for it is a matter of conscience. But we would not yield it on the 
ground of expediency. In doing so, we should feel that we are stnkmg off 
the right arm of our enterprise. We could not go back to America to ask 
for any aid from the women of Massachusetts, if we had deserted them when 
they chose to send out their own sisters as their representatives here We 
could not go back to Massachusetts, and assert the unchangeableness of spnit 
on the question. We have argued it over and over again, and decided it time 
after time in every Society in the land in favour of the women. We : have 
not changed by crossing the water. We stand here the advocates of the 
same principle that we contend for in America. We think it right for women 
to sit by our side there, and we think it right for them to do the same here. 
We ask the Convention to admit them : if they do not choose to grant it, the 
responsibility rests upon their own shoulders. Massachusetts cannot turn 
aide, or succumb to any prejudices or customs even in the land she looks 
"on with so much reverence as the land of Wa«^ , of CJlabmok 
and of O'Covvell. It is a matter of conscience, and British virtue ought 

not to ask us to yield it. 

The CHAIRMAN.— Mr. Phillips having now replied, I will put the 

qU Dr?BOWRING;.— When the gentleman who has moved a resolution has 
snoken in reply it is not usual to re-open the question. _ 

The CHAIBMAN.-It appeared to me that Mr. Phillips having exercised 
his rieht of reply, the debate must close. 

W H ASHUBST,Esq.-Mr. Phillips was called upon to say whether 
he would or would not withdraw the motion. He gave his reason why he 
could not withdraw it. If I had supposed that he had risen to reply, I should 
have interuosed to make a few remarks. 

The CHAmMAN.-I understand from Mr. Philips that he had no idea 
of making a reply but only to answer a question, the discussion may therefore 

^ThTllev. J. H. JOHNSON.-We must come to a division and the sooner 
th T Je Bev. CHARLES EDWABDS LESTEB, (of Utica US.) I trust we 
shall meet the question likemen, and not disgrace those who have sent us 
WILLIAM CAIRNS, Esq, (of Edinburgh)._In order to settle this question 



without offending the feelings of any party, I have drawn Up an amendment 

It is this :— 

" That this Convention feels itself placed in a state of great perplexity 
in reference to the female delegates from Massachusetts and Pennsyl- 
vania ; and they regret that, agreeably to the terms employed in 
describing the persons who were to be delegates of the Convention, they 
cannot recognize them as delegates ; they at the same time contemplate 
with feelings of the highest satisfaction the zeal and intrepidity, as well 
as philanthropy, which have been so nobly manifested by them in this 
cause, and in their coming 4000 miles to be present at this meeting." 

Mr. ASHURST.— It does not matter in the consideration of this question 
what were the intentions of the Committee in issuing the invitation • we are 
now to consider what ought to he the extent of the invitation given hy a 
Convention like this. It is clearly a meeting on the principles of universal 
henevolence, and you ought to welcome all human heings who come here for 
the purpose of carrying those principles into effect. It has heen stated by 
those who are able to hear their testimony, that to those whom you now propose 
to exclude, you owe the deputation which has come from America ; and yet at 
the first Convention met to act on the principles of universality, you propose 
to commence hy disfranchising one-half of creation. Are not these women 
as competent as yourselves to judge of the principles of Christianity, and 
to bring forth the best affections of our nature ? If these are their quali- 
fications, should you upon principle exclude them. It seems impossible for 
you or for any Christian men to draw that conclusion. I use that argumenta- 
tively, because I am aware that many take a different view of the same 
principle. This is my view of the subject— not casting the least reflection 
upon those who vote against me. But let us look at the arguments which 
have been brought forward by a gentleman who would have adduced others if 
they were to be found. The only argument is, that you must construe the 
invitation according to the custom of the country in which you are assembled. 
What would be the result of such an argument employed in Virginia ? Would' 
they not say that slavery is the custom here, and therefore you have no right 
to place yourselves in opposition to the prejudices and customs of society 
by attempting to put it down. But come back to our principle. You 
are convened to influence society upon a subject connected with the 
kindliest feelings of our nature ; and being the first assembly met to shake 
hands with other nations, and employ your combined efforts to annihilate 
slavery throughout the world, are you to commence by saying, "we will take 
away the rights of one-half of creation ?" That is the principle which you 
are putting forward. 

The Rev. A. HARVEY, (of Glasgow).— I regret exceedingly that this ques- 
tion should have been brought before the notice of the Convention. I am 
sure that every individual who was present during the two first hours of our 
meeting was deeply and solemnly impressed with the vast importance of the 
cause on which we are met; aud I think there has nnhappily been brought 
before us a question, altogether foreign to the object for which we have 



assembled The question for discussion now, is not whether we are to deliver 
"n^ the condition of abject slavery, hut whether from tins Convention 
Tere shall S o forth a decision in reference to the rights °f females. 
Til seem to he the point involved in the present debate I will yield to 
none in the high estimate which I form of female talent, female genius, female 
none in the ni S°^ ln " x b u that t]ley have laboured 

SSS^T^SSSt the sphere which they have hitherto 
most efecientiy in xn pr0 motc the grand object m 

r/^iUt wUUX comii forward Jsit in such a meeting as this 
femaiesa^ein their own sphere. I have my doubts on he subjec . The 
qu^stion^s whether in recognizing them as members of this Convention, we 
Lu d no be introducing thSi into aposition which ^f^™^™ 
cau=e I am certain that it would be in direct opposition to the opinion of a 
vast majority of the people of this country. But we must look at the coii- 
letuencis. It was stated by a brother from America that with him it is a 
matter of conscience ; and it is a question of conscience wi h me too I have 
certain views in relation to the teaching of the word of God and _ ot 
°tne particular sphere in which woman is to art I ^ «* whetiu* 
I am riffht in my interpretation of the word of God 01 not, that my o^n 
Lrded'convictionsarefif I were to give a vote in favour -ottorim 
sitting and deliberating in such an assembly as this, that 1 ^^ 
acting in opposition to the plain teaching of the word of God I jnay -be 
«butl have a conscience on the subject ; and I am sure that theie ^ 
number present of the same mind. I must, however, state that I a^iii e the 
devotedness of character exhibited by the females of America and I admire 
stinmoie ne heroism and the zeal, the enlightened -eal which they have 
£pCa: although in the present *-^^^T^E£££ 
us for their admission is not quite m accordance with the view lento tain 
withrespectto the sphere of femalelabour, yet I will call it enlightened _zeal 
foi the amelioration of the unhappy condition of so many ™f™*? ™ 
oppressed and injured fellow men. I tender them my warmes 'J^^ 
their zeal ; I hold them up as examples for British imitation ; and I am sure 
thaf whether thev are admitted into the Convention or not the very devoted- 
ness wh^ they have displayed will have a most electric effect on the females 
of England, and tend to raise them to a degree of activity and self-sacrifice 
such as they have never before exhibited in this good cause. _ 

The Rev J. A. JAMES.-I have not been an inattentive, an indifferent, 01 
an inactive spectator, so far as I could observe it from the shores of my own 
country of the progress of the abolition of slavery m America. And such 
h"b Intleimjrefsion produced on my own mind by the exertions of those 
iltastrious females, of whose names America may justly be proud, that I 
would have travelled to the metropolis, hadit been for no "^^^^i 
I have enjoyed the gratification of seeing Mrs. Chapmah ^J*?*™ 
But I am quite sure, that in this assembly this morning, had even tlwy been 
present, they would rather by their presence have prejudiced than promoted 
that cause which is dearer to their own hearts than life. I am sorry that 
the abstract question of the rights of woman has occupied so large a share 
of the attention of the Convention. I regret that this question, litigated so 
warmly in America, should have been brought here for our decision. It 
would have been better to have settled it there.; and that we should 



have been suffered to pursue our own course, without being embarrassed 
by the introduction of this subject. But one or two expressions have been 
used by gentlemen from America which delighted my heart, and which led 
me to imagine, that, although we could not come to an agreement in sentiment, 
yet we should not be materially disturbed in the feelings with which we 
regarded each other. I was pleased with the declaration of Colonel Miller, 
that he was prepared for oue to bow to the decision of the assembly ; and, 
though Mr. Phillips cannot conscientiously consent to withdraw the reso- 
lution, and therefore the question cannot come to a conclusion without a vote, 
yet it will be considered as a point of conscience with us all, and not simply 
as a matter of opinion and disagreement ; and however we may give out- 
vote, we shall stand prepared to abide by the decision of the majority, and go 
forward in this good work with a perfect confidence in each other's conscien- 
tious motives, though we may not have the same confidence in the correctness 
of each other's opinions. We shall differ on many subjects, and it is not to 
be expected but that there should, on so delicate a subject as this, be a 
difference of opinion. The question is almost new in this country, aud this 
is not the assembly where it should have been mooted. We are not yet 
prepared to discuss it. Our brethren from America may charge us with some 
obtuseness of understanding, on a point which has commended itself to their 
more acute vision. We are not prepared to jump to a conclusion. The ques- 
tion involves in this, and every country far wider considerations than even the 
Anti-Slavery cause itself. I trust, therefore, that we shall not gratify the 
enemies of that cause, by quarrelling on the very threshold of it, that 
we shall not strengthen the prejudice of those who have imbibed prejudice 
already against the whole subject; but that if we do vote, and should oppose 
each other, as I presume we must do, it will be only opposition of sentiment. 
Our friends from America have done honour to themselves by the firmness, 
I will not say the pertinacity, with which they have held their opinions. 
They will stand acquitted, at the bar of their own couutry, of all accusations 
of lukewarmness. The female part of Massachusetts will never reproach 
them with having deserted their s cause. They will carry back no disgrace 
from this country ; on the contrary, they will go back honoured amongst all 
those who sent them here to represent their claims. Should it be, that in the 
progress of sentiment amongst us, we shall one day agree with them in 
opinion, then, how welcome will be those females withiu the bar, who are 
this day placed above it and beyond it ; and who, they will permit me to say, 
do not, in my judgment, disgrace themselves by being there. They are 
entitled to our admiration, for much they have done in America. No man 
can have read the " Martyr Age," and have gone through those glowing pages, 
which to me possessed the charms of romance, without formiug the highest 
opinion of the devotedness, the talents, and the heroism of the women of 
America. If any thing could have convinced me that those females ought this 
morning to have been amongst us, instead of with us and around us, that 
pamphlet would have done it. America is the only country yet, which, in fact 
can boast of a very extended martyrology in this great cause ; and they will 
add another laurel to their brow, if they will but concede the point we are 
now discussing. I trust, that though we should beat them, and if it be earned 
to the vote, I believe, and I hope we shall, they will go through with us in 
the delightful proceedings of an assembly unequalled in the world. It is the 
first of the kind that has been presented on the face of our globe since slavery 
has existed. I hope all that has occurred on this question, will be only like 



40 



i the test concerted u 



the notes of discord sometimes introduced i 

make the harmony the sweeter. 

The CHAIRMAN.-We will take the decision on the original motion. 
After the long time during which the subject has been under discussion, and 
the general call for a division, I am hound to say that we must divide. 

The motion of Mr. Cairns not having been seconded, fell to the ground. 

Mr STACEY— I consented to withdraw my amendment only on the 

condition, that Wendell Phillips would withdraw his original motion ; as 

he has not withdrawn it, my amendment must he submitted to the Con- 

vention. 

The CHAIRMAN again said, he was ready to put the question. 
The Rev. Dr. COX.— We were told that every thing was to be done in 
calmness ; that every thing was to be done in the manner demanded by the 
solemnity of the occasion. I do not think that it is competent for any number 
of gentlemen to call upon the Chairman to come to a prompt decision, 
and say that others are not to be heard. Considering that some gentlemen have 
come across the Atlantic, and that this is a question of the greatest possible 
interest, I do think that gentlemen ought to be heard, unless the impatience 
of the assembly is such that they will not attend to them. I think gentlemen 
on the other side have aright to be heard ; if they are not heard, I shall move 
an adjournment. 

Mr. FULLER.— I apprehend that I represent a larger constituency 
than any man here. I am surprised that I should be prevented from 
speaking while a number of others have been allowed to go on. I hope 
that we shall not be prevented from having a hearing. One friend said, that 
this question ought to have been settled on the other side of the Atlantic. 
Why it was there decided in favour of the women a year ago. With regard 
to the invitation, there was nothing about « gentlemen" in the first invitation, 
and the women from Pennsylvania were appointed, previously to the issuing 
of the amended notice calling this meeting. This is the only explanation I 
want to make. 

Captain WAUCHOPE, R. N. (delegate from Carlisle).— In whatever country 
an institution may be formed, something should be given up to the feelings 
and prejudices of that country. Now I hold that England has something to 
say upon the efforts which have been made to annihilate slavery. The 
ladies across the Atlantic have exerted themselves nobly, and I trust that 
they will continue their efforts, even though this question should be carried 
against them. I entreat the ladies not to push the question too far. They 
do not fully comprehend the feelings of this country on the subject. I wish 
to know whether our friends from America are prepared to cast off England 
altogether 2 Have we not given £20,000,000 of our money for the purpose of 
doing away with the abominations of slavery ? Is not that proof that we are 
in earnest about it ? I can answer for the friends of emancipation here, that 
if this society had been established in America, they would never have mooted 
the question of the exclusion of females ; but I must say, that our American 
friends are violating the feelings of the country in which they are now 
assembled. I trust they will do nothing calculated to cripple the great cause 
jn which we are engaged. 

The CHAIRMAN.— Permit ine to say in reference to an observation which 



41 

fell from a gentleman at the end of the room, (Mr. Fuller), that I trust 
I am not in the least disposed to limit the freedom of debate. I thought that 
I was only interpreting the general feeling of the meeting when I suggested 
that the time had arrived to take the vote. 

Mr. BIRNEY.— I rise to correct an erroneous impression which may have 
been made on the Convention by what has fallen from some of my American 
friends, as well as from my friend, Mr. Thompson. They spoke as if 
the question of promiscuous female representation in the Anti-Slavery 
Societies of the United States was already settled. This, in my apprehension, 
is far from being the case. The question is a mooted one there as here ; it 
has been as distracting to Anti-Slavery Conventions there, as it is likely 
to become to this Convention, if it be obstinately persisted in. It has been 
stated, that the right of women to sit and act in all respects as men 
in our Anti-Slavery associations, was decided in the affirmative at the 
annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society, in May, 1839. It is 
true, the claim was so decided on that occasion, but not by a large majority ; 
whilst it is also true, that the majority was swelled by the votes of the women 
themselves. A portion of the minority thought they were called on to protest 
in a formal manner against the act of the majority, which they accordingly 
did. Since that decision, the question has been pressed with great pertinacity 
by those who favour the right of women to sit in the Anti-Slavery meetings, 
and resisted in the same manner by those who are opposed to it. Votes have 
been taken in several instances in the auxiliary societies j and wherever 
the result has been in favour of the admission of female representation, 
females have themselves voted. In Massachusetts it has been made a principal 
ground of separation between the abolitionists of that State. It is true, there 
were other grounds of separation deemed more obnoxious than the one now 
under discussion; but it was one of the grounds, and considered by no means 
an unimportant one. The abolitionists who were in the negative on the 
women's rights" question, and who thought the other ground of separation 
alluded to still more imperative, separated from the old society and instituted 
another, which is conducted exclusively by men. I regret that it has been 
thought proper by my friend, Mr. Thompson, to institute any comparison 
between the two parties, as to the thrrouglmess of their abolitionism. He 
cannot but know, that in the new society, there are those whose purity as 
abolitionists cannot be questioned, or even disparaged by any comparison into 
which they may be brought with others, no matter how high those others may 
stand in his estimation. I think it proper also here to state, that I have just 
received from a gentleman in New York, well known to Mr. Thompson one 
whose Anti-Slavery standard he, (Mr. T.) would be among the last, in anyway 
to underrate, a letter communicating the fact, that the persistence of the 
friends of promiscuous female representation, in pressing that practice 
on the American Anti-Slavery Society, at its annual meeting on the 12th 
t ^ !T ' f oaused such disagreement among the members present, that 
he and others who viewed the subject as he did, were then deliberating on 
measures for seceding from the old organization, and instituting a new one 
from which this cause of dissension would be excluded. The immediate' 
is this : the Chairman of the meeting, one of .the 



occasion of the 



Vice-Presidents of the Society,who it is understood is decidedly favourable to 
female representation, m appointing the « business Committee," nominated a 
lady as a member of it, together with Mr. L. Taepan and others who were well 



known to be opposed to ladies acting in such matters promiscuously with 
gentlemen. The lady was not herself present at the meeting. It was moved 
that the husband of the lady, a gentleman in every way qualified for any 
station for which respectability and intelligence are considered qualifications, 
should be substituted for his wife. This, as I understand the letter, was not 
doue, but instead of it another lady was made the substitute for the oue who 
had been nominated in her absence. Believing that the time had at length 
come when the American Society was to be made the instrument of carrying 
this measure, in connexion with others still more obnoxious, which were 
known to be cherished by the most zealous of the women's rights party ; and 
not being ready to aid in any way in furthering such purposes, a large number 
withdrew from the Society, and were, at the date of the communication,delibe- 
rating on the organization of a new association,from which all matters of reform, 
except those inseparably connected with slavery and emancipation, should be 
carefully excluded. I have alluded to other measures deemed still more obnox- 
ious than the women's rights question, but to which the latter was considered as 
having been associated by themost zealous of its supporters. These may be con- 
sidered as coming within the designation of the Non-Resistance or theNo-human 
government scheme. I think it may truly be said, and without exception so 
far as I am informed, that the members of this sect, one that is new in the 
United States, and which denies the rightful existence of all human govern- 
ments, except such as are merely advisory, are zealous for the perfect equali- 
zation of the sexes as to rights, duties, Sec, &c. But whilst I give this as my 
opinion, I must also say, that there are among us in America, multitudes of 
abolitionists of the firmest and most approved texture, the friends and sup- 
porters of human governments as they now exist, who also believe, that by 
the constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society (in which its members 
are described as "persons"), females desiring to be considered as members 
cannot be excluded. I do not so interpret the constitution. I have thought 
it due to those whom I, in part, represent, as well as to this Convention, to 
make this statement, trusting that it will aid us in some measure, iu coming 
to "an intelligent decision of the question before ns. 

Mr. BRADBURN.— I wish to speak to certain facts. I know from the 
kind attention which the meeting has already paid, that it wishes to get at 

The Rev. J. BURNET.— I speak to a point of order. Our worthy friend 
is about to speak to facts, in the way of reply to the gentleman who has just 
sat down. That is not what we call explanation, and it cannot be entered upon. 
I would just say, that this question must come to a close at some time, or the 
business of the Convention can never be done. 

The CHAIRMAN.— Mr. Buknet has rightly interpreted the rules; uo 
gentleman who has spoken before can speak in reply, or otherwise, to matters 
of fact, except the gentleman who opened the discussion. 

Mr. Gr. THOMPSON.— In what I said, I did not intend to institute a 
comparison between parties who had divided. 

The Rev. C. STOVEL.— I think that the whole of the question has now 
become one entirely of order. I think, that we are convened here by your 
summons sent to the United States, and to several parts of the world from 
which we now have delegates. I fancy that we have been convened on a 
question relating to negro slavery; or rather, we are now an Anti-Slavery 
body. I know that we have a right to constitute ourselves, and that we 



43 

have a right to sit on that question ; but whilst we have been speaking 
on this question respecting the reception of delegates, we have been brought 
to a topic, which however it may have been discussed in America, is oue 
which is totally new to me. I never heard a word about it before. I 
certainly never studied what is called the rights of women. I would not 
withhold from them one right. I would give them more thau their rights ; 
for I think the women will be badly off when they have nothing but their 
rights, and the men also. I do not think that this is the time when that 
should be discussed. I appeal to you on all sides of the question, whether 
what you are pursuing is the great object for which we are met, whether it 
forms any part of the order of our proceedings % We ought not to be com- 
pelled to discuss this question, or to decide upon it now. If it tears your 
Societies to pieces in the United States, why would you tear in pieces our 
Convention ? If I had been on the Committee, and the Committee had voted 
to receive ladies, I would receive them as a matter of courtesy. But when 
you attempt to divide the Conventiou on this subject, you are out of order, and 
we ought not to entertain the question. My vote is, that we confirm the list of 
delegates ; that we take votes on that, as an amendment ; and that we heuce- 
forth entertain this question no more. Arc we not met here pledged to 
sacrifice all but every thing, in order that we may do somethiug against slavery, 
and shall we be divided on this paltry question, and suffer the whole tide of 
benevolence to be stopped by a straw ? No ! You talk of being men, then be 
men. Consider what is worthy your attention. You talk of possessing liberty, 
then by all means conduct yourselves as freemen ought to do. You have 
undertaken to do something to destroy slavery ; expose not yourselves then to 
ridicule, through the length and breadth of the country, by a question of this 
sort. If you are wise men use wisdom, and if you are strong men use strength 
in the accomplishment of what yon have undertaken to do. If you think it 
right, when you have done this work, sit down and consider the rights of 
women. I shall move as an amendment that the. list of delegates taken by 
the Committee be adopted. 

S. J. PRESCOD, Esq., (of Barbadoes). — I wish to state a very simple 
circumstance in connexion with this question which has been most impro- 
perly forced upon us. The fact is this, that the ladies themselves did not 
come here with a certain expectation of being received amongst us. I had 
this fact from the ladies themselves. The ladies were elected conditionally, 
namely, that if the customs of this country and the sense of the Convention 
were against their sitting with us, they were absolved from all responsibility. 
I state this, not only in the presence of the American delegates, but of the 
ladies themselves. 

The Rev. W. BEVAN. — I beg to protest against mere private conver- 
sations being repeated before a public assembly. 

Mr. PRESCOD.— The conversation which took place last night was not a 
private one. There was a preliminary meeting at which persons, uot delegates, 
were present. 

One or two gentlemen denied that Mr. Prescod had given an accu- 
rate representation of what had taken place. 

The CHAIRMAN.— The speaker is decidedly out of order in giving the 
details of private conversations ; he has clearly no right to do so. 



44 

The Rev. Dr. MORRISON— I feel, I believe, as our brethren from America 
and many English friends do at this moment, that we are treading on the brink of 
a precipice ; and that precipice is the awakening in our bosoms by this discussion, 
feelings that will not only be averse to the great object for which we are 
assembled, but inconsistent, perhaps, in some degree with the Christian spirit, 
which I trust will pervade all meetings connected with the Anti-Slavery 
cause. For I do believe that whatever has been done to purpose in this 
great work in our own country, or in any other, has been effected mainly 
under the guidance and direction of Christian principle. There are, we must 
all perceive, firm minded men, on both sides of this question. The Americans 
have proved themselves to be firm minded men ; and I honour them for it ; 
but they must see also that English Christians are equally firm and decided in 
the course which they intend to pursue. It is a question of conscience between 
the two parties ; but it is a question of conscience between a very small 
minority on the one side, and a mighty majority on the other. If you discuss 
this topic, not only till the sun goes down, but until this Convention shall be 
under the necessity of breaking up, is there a shadow of hope in the mind of 
any American, or of any Englishman, that such discussion will harmonize 
the minds of the Convention 2 I do hope that our American friends, consi- 
dering what a small minority they are, will withdraw the motion: for on 
no other ground can unity be secured. I cannot yield my convictions 
till I have had the same opportunity of discussing this topic as has been 
enjoyed by my American friends. They have already anxiously discussed 
it ; but the people of this country have not. But have their discussions of it 
across the Atlantic tended to harmony 2 I say, unhesitatingly, because I 
know it, they have not. Will they then, upon a question of a minor order, divert 
attention from the great object for which we have been convened I Will they 
so far sacrifice themselves— their Christian selves— their Christian manhood— 
and the cause which I believe is most dear to them, and which I know they 
have proved by the sacrifices which they have made for its promotion I Will 
they on a minor question— the admission of female delegates from a small 
section of the American continent— run the hazard, the fearful hazard, of 
exciting a spirit which may tarnish the whole procedure in which we are 
engaged 2 I beseech then calmly to consider the nature of these proceedings. 
This is very unlike the meetings we have hitherto held. We have been 
unanimous against the common foe ; but we are this day in danger of creating 
a division among heartfelt friends. Will our American brethren put us in 
this position? Will they keep up a discussion in which the delicacy, the 
honour, the respectability, of these excellent females, who have come from the 
western world, are concerned. I tremble at the thought of discussing the 
question in the presence of these ladies, for whom I entertain the most pro- 
found respect. I am bold to say, that but for the introduction of the question 
of woman's rights, that it would be impossible for the shrinking nature of 
woman to subject itself to the infliction of such a discussion as this. I 
do entreat, Mr. Chairman, that you will keep the meeting to its business. 
I am not here to instruct you ; you are better capable of instructing me. 
I have known you long, and your devotion to this cause. I look around me 
on men whose hearts are warm in it, and none beats more warmly in the 
cause than those of the Americans. I have held correspondence with some 
of the best Anti-Slavery men in America, and I know that they have been 
rendered overwhelmingly anxious by the discussion of this subject, which 



■H^mHH 



45 

is now threatening to make us as unhappy as our friends on the other 
side of the Atlantic. Our friends do not know the position we occupy in 
this country, or they would not obtrude the question upon us. I do 
entreat the meeting not to let any more time be lost. We cannot be 
convinced on either side. Our judgments in England are not things of 
straw, any more than those of our American friends. I give them credit 
for the manliness with which they have asserted that, which they regard to 
be a great principle ; but having asserted it as Christian men, let us be con- 
tent to proceed to a division, and then determine, in the spirit of Christians, 
to abide by that decision. 

The CHAIKMAN.— As the hour is so late, I will now call upon Mr 
Phillips to reply. 

Mr. PHILLIPS.— I will not enter on" a reply. I have only one word to 
say, and that is to correct misrepresentations. The first respects what was 
stated by a gentleman on my right, (Mr. Pkescod), that the women did not 
expect their seats when they came here. I deny it. They may have said that 
they did not expect to be in a majority if it went to a division. Secondly, 
he states they came here with liberty left to them of presenting their 
credentials or not. "We should have come before the Convention with a lie in 
our mouths, we should have detained this meeting under the most false pre- 
tences, and have practised the grossest deception upon it, in making the state- 
ments we have done, had we been entrusted with this liberty of choice. The 
only women who have presented credentials are those from the State of Mas- 
sachusetts, and there was no such liberty left to them. He has exaggerated 
what transpired, and confounded different cases. With respect to the obser- 
vations made by Mr. Birney, I think it is my duty to advert to one of them. 
He has stated that the woman question has rent the Massachusetts Society 
asunder. That is not true. I attribute no want of truth to Mr. Bihnjsy ; 
we know each other too well for him to suspect that I should make such an 
assertion. He has misapprehended the state of the matter. It was political 
action which divided us, and not the introduction of the woman's question.* 
Mr. Bibney has also stated that most of the advocates of the woman's ques- 
tion are friends of the no-human government system. I might go over a 
long list, and show that the majority of those who have permitted me to 
stand up here are not favourable to the no-human government system. The 
defenders of that scheme are but a small portion of our body ; but, thank 
God, the friends of woman on the platform of abolitionism are the majo- 
rity. I throw back the imputation, that the main body on the woman 
question are the no-human government men. I rose to correct mistakes, 
and have done it. 

The Chaieman then submitted Mr. Stacey's amendment, which was 
put and carried by an overwhelming majority. 

The Rev. J. H. JOHNSON.— I hope we shall now all proceed unitedly with 
heart and hand. 

* Mr. Phillips has since expressed a desire that an acknowledgment should 
be made on his beh alf that he was in error here. The alleged causes of the 
division in America have been the introduction of women into the meetings, 
and differences about resolutions on political action. 



Mr. G. THOMPSON.— I hope that as the question is now decided it will 
never be again bronght forward ; and I trust thai? Mr. Phillips will give 
us the assurance that we shall proceed with one heart and one mind. 

Mr. PHILLIPS.— I have no doubt of it. There is no unpleasant feeling 
in our minds. I have no doubt that the women will sit with as much interest 
behind the bar as though the original proposition had been carried in the affir- 
mative. All we asked was au expression of opinion, and having obtained it, 
we shall now act with the utmost cordiality. 

PROFESSOR ADAM.— I shall co-operate with the gentlemen now around 
me with the same zeal and earnestness as I should have done if this question 
had never been started. 

Mr. Joseph Stubce moved, and Mr. Bennet seconded, that the 
Convention adjourn until ten o'clock to-morrow morning, which was 
put and agreed to. 



SECOND DAY'S SITTINGS, SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 1840. 

(MORNING.) 

JOSEPH STURGE, Esq. in the Chair. 

The CHAIRMAN rose and said, 

Before commencing the business of the day, I am anxious to offer a remark 
or two on the somewhat irregular way in which the meeting was opened yes- 
terday morning. It was the desire of the Committee to save our venerable 
friend, Thomas Clarkson, as much as possible from excitement : and they 
arranged that he should be voted into the Chair before he entered the room, 
I did not know that this had not been done, when I accompanied him to the 
platform, yesterday ; but the question was not regularly put to the meeting, 
though no doubt could exist that it would have been unanimously carried. 
As one or two of our friends who have been elected office-bearers, arrived only 
on the preceding evening, they could scarcely be thoroughly cognizant of the 
arrangements for preserving order in conducting the business ; and should 
any other little irregularity in the proceedings of yesterday have occurred, I 
hope this will be accepted as an apology. In future, it will be necessary to act 
in strict accordance with the prescribed rales, as by so doing much valuable 
time will be saved. I trust, we shall go on in that spirit of love, unanimity, 
and Christian charity, which especially marked the early proceedings' of yes- 
terday. I am glad that our friends who were in the minority last evening, are 
now not only present, but, I believe, anxious, cordially and sincerely, with the 
best and kindest feelings, to unite in all the proceedings, and to further the 
great objects, of this Convention. 

M. Isambert, the secretary to the French Anti-Slavery Society, 
and a member of the Chamber of Deputies, in whose honour medals 
have been struck by the coloured inhabitants of the French colonies, and 
M. Latjre, also a distinguished member of the French Society, were 



mmmmmm 



introduced by Messrs. J. H. Tredgold, G. TV. Alexander, TV. T. 
Blair, and D. Turnbull. 

The CHAIRMAN. — I hope I shall not be violating the scruples of any one, 
if I request, that we sit a minute or two in devotional silence, before the 
business proceeds. 

It was afterwards anuounced, that it was the intention of those who 
wished to join in devotion, before the commencement of the sittings of 
the Convention, to meet in an adjoining room for that purpose, each day 
at half-past nine o'clock. 

The minutes of the sitting of Friday were then read and confirmed. 

The Rev. Benjamin Godiwn, (of Oxford,) on the call of the Chair- 
man, read the following paper : — 

ON THE ESSENTIAL SINFULNESS OF SLAVERY AND ITS DIRECT OPPOSITION 
TO THE PRECEPTS AND SPIRIT OF CHRISTIANITY. 

I am aware that the number and importance of the topics which will 
be brought under the consideratoin of this meeting, render an economy 
of time necessary. The paper, which I have been requested to draw up 
and read, is on a subject of great and vital interest, which spreads out a 
wide field of discussion, but which it has been my endeavour to present 
in a condensed form, and within narrow limits. 

There arc many views which may be taken of the evils of slavery 
by the philanthropist and the politician ; but there is one aspect under 
which it presents itself to the mind of the Christian, which is especially 
adapted to awaken his feelings and to stimulate his efforts, — that is, 
its sinfulness. It will be the object of this paper to show that its 
moral delinquency is not an accident or a circumstance, but that it is 
inherent in tbe system, and belongs to its very nature ; that it is not 
the abuse of slavery merely, but the very existence of it that is wrong ; 
and that consequently, there is only one way of dealing with it, and 
that is, not to correct and amend, but to exterminate it altogether. 

Slavery, as it has prevailed in the world, aud as it still prevails, appears 
with many modifications ; it is not my design to apportion witb nice 
discrimination the exact amount of guilt to every shade of distinction : 
the proposition I mean to affirm is, that slavery, so far as it is slavery, 
is sinful. By slavery, I mean the coerced service of the perpetual bonds- 
man, exacted and enforced without any alleged crime, for the sole benefit 
of the owner, who exercises over him an irresponsible pozcer, and claims 



in him the right of property. And while our remarks will apply to 
slavery in general, they will have an especial reference to that type of 
slavery which prevails in America, and in the colonies of Europe. 

Without going into detail, it is necessary to give a brief sketch of 
the system which we pronounce as sinful. 

One essential feature of the slave system, and that from which all its 
mischiefs spring, is the right of property in man claimed and enforced. 
Hence originated the term " owner," a term not designating the relation 
of child, or servant, or captive, or prisoner ; but the relation of property 
to a possessor. It is the relation which a man bears to his house, his 
furniture, his farm, and the cattle that work and stock it. The title 
to the slave is acquired like that of other property, by purchase, by 
gift, by inheritance, or by will ; and it is transferred in the same way. 
So that the limbs, the strength, the powers of the slave's mind and 
body are his owner's property ; the husband has no claim on the en- 
slaved wife ; he can perform no duties, yield no protection, but such as 
the owner allows. The duties and obligations of parents and children 
are absorbed in the claims of the owner — are in fact annihilated by this 
relation. As with the brute animals possessed by man, the offspring 
of the female belongs to the owner, whoever be the father, and whether 
he be bond or free. And this right of property set up and claimed is 
perpetual. The flock of sheep and the gang of slaves, with their 
descendants, are the owner's, not for a term of years or a number of 
lives, but for ever. 

This claim of property produces another pondition in this state, 
which also prominently marks it, that is, coerced and unremunerated 
service. There is here no contract made ; the labourer has no power of 
choice. The slave-master does not ask, nor reason, nor persuade; he 
compels. The slave can no more consult his own interest than a sheep 
can choose its own pasture, or a horse its own master. And however 
laborious or valuable the service rendered, it is not on the principle of 
remuneration. It is not an exchange of commodities for the benefit of 
both ; it is not an equivalent given and taken. Food and clothing, 
and lodging are not given to remunerate the slave, but to benefit the 
master. The slave is no more remunerated by these than the ox is 
remunerated by his fodder, or the hound by his kennel. 

The exercise of irresponsible power springs also from the claim of 
property, and is a feature of the slave system. All tliiuk they have 
a right to do what they will with their own. This is the very spirit 



49 
of slavery, this is its congenial element. To call a slave-owner to 
account for the manner in which he treats his slave, is felt to bean 
encroachment on his rights, and is generally resisted as such- as if a 
person should dictate to another how many miIcs he should 'ride his 
horse how often he should use the whip or spur, or in what way he 
Jould punish his dog. The force of conscience, a sense of shame, the 
strength of public opinion, may have placed, in various degrees, some 
checks on this power; laws may have been passed for the prevention 
of cruelty to slaves just as enactments for the prevention of cruelty to 
animals, but in most cases these checks have proved, and must neces- 
sarily prove, ineffectual. Whenever man is held as legal property an 
immense power over the happiness of the slave must be possessed, of 
which the law can take no cognizance, over which it can exercise no 
control In our own foreign dependencies, while slavery was in its 

cv rfnfl Td 6W r UndS ' 01 ' ' Sh ° rt im P ri — *• »d ^ e carcely 
cv inflicted, were the penalties for the wilful murder of a slave. And 
when the secrets of this prison house were revealed to the British public 

m£Zt ldU T^ WaS CV6ry m ° Vement t0 P ]ace ^itional respond 
sibihty on the master's power, and with what vehemence and pcrtina- 
ty we all the proceedings of the British Parliament opposed, when 
it stretched out its hand to limit this ten-ible power. 
This, then, is the system which we condemn as sinful 
buch a condition of society must be attended with great and serious 
evils; avast amount of physical suffering must necessarily floCf on 
it Such power cannot be exercised over his fellow-creatures bv man 

SSL" e 1S 1° an the eviI passions of h ™ -«* ^ 2 

rrthtfT ♦Tl miSery ' And faCtS P1 '° Ve that SUffcrin & t0 » **7 
frightful extent, has ever attended .slavery. But independent of the 

amount of physical suffering, the injuries inflicted are un^eaJbfe; and 

the wrong done, the injustice committed, is flagrant 

For, first, it decades a slave from the condition of a man it rtw 

nmo ff theeommonlevelofh lUn anity. It does J 1Z him to^ 

iaws. And tins dreadful penalty is inflicted for no crime charged on 

victim of the same injustice before him. 

It robs him also of the riahtt nf mnn „n x r ,, 

<jj wm, iiynis oj man, at least of the nossessinn -mrl 

* e ?*« ^ ^ich God and nature had givTZ S 
nght to his liberty, to the produce of his own industry! to the g JZ 



50 
ment and obedience of his own ehildren, to the exereise of his reason 
and ehoiee in seeking his own happiness ;_righte, to invade winch is a 
kind of saerilege-are all saerifieed. Thus the slave is plundered of the 
rights whieh God has given to every man, or holds them only by 
sufferanee, and in sueh pittanee as his owner may dole out to him. 

This wicked system also, as far as it ean be done, deprives the slave 
of the attributes of a man. He has no free and independent action. He 
must have no will but that of his owner. He must neither aet from 
ehoiee, nor from eonscienee. He ean neither rest, nor labour recreate 
his body, nor cultivate his mind, nor join in the worship of Ins God, 
but at the will and under the power of another. There is a power that 
stands between him and his happiness, between him and his ehildren, 
between him and his wife, between him aud his God. This power may 
be sometimes mildly exereised, or allowed to slumber, as a mau may 
treat a favourite nag or a faithful dog, but the power is there, and if 
disputed or denied, would be immediately felt. Plaeed m t he position 
of an animal kept for work, or pride, or pleasure, he is debarred the 
highest exereises of a rational and immortal creature. _ _ 

Now we say, that to hold our fellow-ereatures in such a eondition is 
sinful. It is a violation of the law of nature, of the law of God. It is 
contrary to all religion, natural and revealed. 

For 1st It is a violation of the immutable principles of Equity and 
justice. All the great principles of justiee, and of moral obligation are 
eternal uuehangeable, and universal. No custom, however general, no 
usage, however ancient, can alter them; no legislation ean supersede 
them, no enaetments ean change them- Right is still right, and wrong 
is still wrong, whatever men may say or do. That mnoeence should 
not be punished, that no rational creature should invade the rights .of 
another, are propositions as invariably and universally true, as that the 
whole is equal to all its parts, aud that the three angles of every triangle 
are equal to two right angles. As slavery is punishment without 
erime as it is withholding from another his due, as it is inflicting on 
another a most serious injury, it is essentially, ineurably wrong ; a 
violation of the prineiples of justiee whieh nothing ean make right. 
Every slave in the world has a right to be free; a right whieh all the 
tyranny on earth can neither destroy nor nullify. Of the enjoyment of 
this right he may be deprived, but the claim eannot be extinguished : 
and the withholding of this right is the perpetuation of a wrong. _ 
But, 2nd, If we try it by the test of revealed religion, toe must with. 



m 



equal emphasis pronounce it sinful. Sin is defined in the saered writ- 
ings, as " a transgression of the law;" and the fundamental principles of 
this law are violated by slavery. One great objeet in the revealed will 
■ of God, is to bring out elearly and to establish fully, by the most solemn 
sanetions and in the most impressive manner, those great and immutable 
prineiples of truth and justiee by whieh the administration of His moral 
government is regulated, and on whieh it is founded. These prineiples 
of moral reetitude affect man in his twofold relation, to God and to his 
fellow-ereatures; and all the duties in detail whieh spring from them, 
are redueed by our divine Teacher to these two comprehensive preeepts : 
" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart"— and, " thy 
neighbour as thyself." « On these two commandments hang aU tbe law 
and the prophets." Now to reduee a fellow.creature to a state of slavery, 
or to hold him in this state ; to exereise sueh power over him, and to 
elaim sueh right of property in him, is ineompatible with this love to 
God, and to our fellow-creatures. 

For, 1st, How ean it be compatible with the unbounded and reve- 
rential love we owe to the Great Creator, to misuse and maltreat his 
creatures; to deprive them of the rights whieh He has given them, 
without any express warrant from Him ? There is something saered 
about man— he is God's ereature, stamped with his image, and endowed 
with his immortality; and to deprive sueh a being of the rights of 
humanity, to reduee him as far as possible to the level of the brute 
ereation, and thus to stunt his intellectual growth, obstruct his soeial 
sympathies, depress his lofty aspirations, and stand between him and 
the very end of his being, is not only to insult our Maker by wronging 
his ereatures, but is to invade his prerogative, by the assumption of 
dominion and authority whieh belong to Him alone. 

And in the next plaee, ean slavery be reeoneileablc with such love to 
man as the divine law requires, is it eompatible with the duties of the 
second table ? Can that law whieh forbids not only stealing, but even 
eoveting or desiring what belongs to another, tolerate man in depriviug 
his fellow-creature of his liberty, of the fruits of his own industry, and 
of all that is dear to him for purposes of selfish aggrandizement ? Slavery 
is essentially unjust; therefore slavery is essentially sinful. It wrongs, 
it insults, at -onee, both God and man. 

_ The prescribed brevity of this paper forbids the discission of objec- 
tions to the conclusion we have drawn. But unless the premises ean 
e 2 



52 

be disproved, no difficulties with which ingenuity may perplex the ques- 
tion can invalidate it. So far as slavery is what we have described it 
to be, it cannot but be unjust— that is, it must be sinful. 

If it should be pleaded that slavery was tolerated by God among the 
ancient Israelites, and therefore is not in its own nature sinful, it might 
be replied, first, that neither the bond service of the Israelites which 
was voluntary, nor that which was a punishment inflicted, nor any 
form of service which was temporary, comes within our definition ; 
and secondly, that for reducing the nations of Canaan to slavery, and 
for putting them to the sword, they had a special warrant from the 
Judge of the whole earth, as the executioners of his justice. And no 
people can ever be placed in such circumstances as the Jews were. 

It is not denied, also, that slavery existed throughout the Eoman 
empire as a recognised civil institution, when Christianity was first 
promulgated ; that there is no express precept to bind believing masters 
to release their slaves; that the slaves are not directed to claim their 
freedom, but for the gospel's sake, to obey. There are, however, reasons 
in the circumstances in which the first preachers of Christianity were 
placed, to account for these things, but no reasons can be assigned why 
Christianity should lend its sanction to what is in itself unjust, or why 
it should be indifferent to an evil at which humanity is shocked. So 
diametrically opposite to slavery is Christianity in its whole scope and 
tendency, that it would require very distinct statement, very strong 
evidence, to prove its patronage of any thing so cruelly wrong; and if 
such proof could be produced, it would present Christianity so strangely 
at variance with itself, as to weaken its own evidence of a divine origin. 
How can Christianity be otherwise than opposed to slavery since it pro- 
ceeds from Him, whose throne is founded in righteousness, whose name 
is "just and holy," and whose strongest denunciations and severest 
thrcatenings are against pride, and wrong, and oppression? It could 
not, therefore, be for a moment supposed that a system originating with 
God, and introduced, not merely by eminent prophets, but by his Son, 
who came to take away sin and destroy the works of the devil, could be 
otherwise than opposed to every form of injustice, to every species of 
wrong. 

And what is Christianity itself but an emanation of divine benevo- 
lence, a concentration of all the divine purposes of mercy to man, an 
emphatic announcement that « God is love," that " glory to God in the 



highest," is by the advent of the Saviour combined with "peace on 
earth and good will toward men!" How, therefore, could it be supposed 
that such a system could coalesce with the spirit of slavery; the very 
tendency of which is to wound, and depress, and mortify, and to injure 
man in his relations both to time and eternity ? 

How are the views which Christianity gives us of man to be reconciled 
with the practice of holding a fellow-creature in perpetual bondage, aud 
claiming property in him as our goods aud chattels ? Every man in the 
sight of God is placed on an equality : he "hath made of one blood all 
nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." All stand related 
to Him as the Creator, the Benefactor, the Parent of the human family. 
No man can claim an exemption from the consequences of the fall, the 
plan of divine mercy looks with equal benignity on all; all must 
die, all must stand before His judgment-seat, with whom " there is 
no respect of persons." How can, then, we ask,-kow can such views 
be reconciled with the practice of claiming man as property, and 
exercising over a fellow-creature the rights, or rather the wrongs, of a 
slave-owner ? 

The precepts of Christianity exhibit a high and pure morality, often 
entering into duties in detail, but more particularly distinguished for 
the principles which it inculcates, aud which lead to " whatsoever things 
are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, what- 
soever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report." Does 
not Christianity perpetually insist on the duties of justice between man 
and man ? It neither abolishes nor relaxes any of its essential and 
immutable principles; but insists on their universal obligation, "Do 
we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we 
establish the law." It shows also that the divine law in all its precepts, 
extends not merely to overt acts, but to " the thoughts and intents of 
the heart." And on the principle on which our divine Teacher explains 
the law, any wish or intention to possess what is another's, or to 
encroach on his rights, or to do what would injure him or diminish his 
happiness, is sinful. And can a man hold a slave without infringing 
on his rights, and doing him an actual injury? No man living m 
the practice of injustice can expect to share the blessings of Chris- 
tianity—" the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ;" its 
language is, render to all their- dues— and to give us a clear rule of 
conduct to others, it enjoins the preecpt, " whatsoever ye 



duty 



54 

would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Can the 
man walk hy this rule who makes a slave, or holds a slave ? 

That it is wrong to return evil for good is a principle in morals which 
all will readily admit ; hut Christianity goes much farther than this, 
and prohihits the return of evil for evil,— nay more, it charges us to 
return good for evil : " If thine enemy hunger, feed him ; if he thirst, 
give him drink:" " hless them that curse you," "and pray for them 
which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Apply these prin- 
ciples to slavery. To the poor suffering slave they forhid revenge and 
retaliation, and cheer him in patient submission to evils which he 
cannot remove j hut if the slave-owner acts upon them he must at 
once " undo the heavy burdens," and " let the oppressed go free." 

How assiduously does Christianity inculcate the kindest charities of 
human nature. Our sympathies are ever to he alive. "VVe are "to 
weep with them that weep," as well as '* rejoice with them that do 
rejoice." Our love is to he measured hy the love which God bears to us, 
for, " if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." And 
if any man love " not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love 
God whom he hath not seen." Now "loveworketh no ill to his 
neighbour." Let this love on the part of the slave-owner, « be not in 
word only, but in deed and in truth," and the fetters of every slave he 
possesses will be instantly struck off. 

Look, in a word, at the pervading spirit and genius of the gospel of 
Christ, at its divinely gracious intentions and objects. Look at the 
benign aspect which Christianity wears to all, — contemplate the bound- 
less generosity, and love, and grace of him, " who though he was rich, 
yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might 
be rich." Then place by its side the genius of slavery. Can any two 
things he more opposite ? The one is an angel of light, the other a fiend 
of darkness ; and while you thus view them, we ask, "what fellowship 
hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? and what communion hath 
light with darkness ? and what concord hath Christ with Belial ?" 

The spirit of Christianity is to diffuse happiness to the widest pos- 
sible extent, and to the greatest possible degree ; the spirit of slavery is 
to diminish the means of happiness, and to open new sources of misery. 
The spirit of Christianity is to confer benefits eveu on the unworthy : 
the spirit of slavery is to inflict injuries even on the innocent. The 
spirit of Christianity is to remove from the world every form and 



55 

degree of evil, and to eoutinue its uneeasing efforts till humanity is 
relieved of all the miseries under whieh it groans ; the spirit of slavery 
forbids all encroachment on its dark domains, and declares that " the 
prey" shall not " be taken from the mighty," nor " the lawful eaptive 
delivered.'" The spirit of Christianity is to elevate, and expand,, and 
ennoble- our nature : the spirit of slavery is to contraet, and to depress, 
and to brutify all that is human. 

There are two facts which strikingly show the opposition of these 
systems in their genius and iufluenee. The one is, that as Christianity 
prevailed, it abolished the long-continued and widely spread slavery of 
Greece and Rome : and the other is, that wherever slavery prevails, it 
views with extreme jealousy the efforts of Christian missionaries, and 
greatly obstructs them. I need only refer to what transpired in Deme- 
rara, in Barbadoes, and more recently still in Jamaica. The labours of 
those devoted men, who sought to impart religious instruction to the 
slaves, without mentioning a word about their eondition, exeept in exhor- 
tations to patient obedienee, were suspeeted, frowned on, and diseouraged; 
till at length slavery, indignant and alarmed, proelaimed open battle with 
Christianity, and fell in the struggle. 

The eonclusions to which we arrive, then, are these : — 

1. That to make or hold a man a slave, is an offenee against 
God, and a grievous wrong to man, and should be viewed and dealt 
with as a sin. 

2. That, therefore, all who fear God and regard man, should purge 
themselves from this aecursed thing, and " toueh not ; taste not ; 
handle not." 

3. That this is the ground on whieh the battle for universal emanci- 
pation must be fought. 

4. And that on this ground all who love God and man should rally 
for a determined, eombined, and persevering effort, assured that greater 
is He that is for us, than all that ean be against us. 

At the elose of the reading of this paper the President entered the 
room, and assumed the ehair. 

Rev. C. STOVEL. — I was greatly pleased with the character of the 
paper that has just been read, and I felt anxious that something practical 
might be devised ; or, that measures might be adopted to devise something 
practical, upon that religions view of the whole question before us, to which 
the Essay relates. I had drawn up two or three resolutions, which I shall not 
now submit to you to discuss, but which I rise to move may be referred with 



56 

the Essay to a committee, and brought forward afterwards in a practical form, 
for the purpose of constituting a recommendation to he issued from this body 
to all Christian denominations, to make the matter of slavery one of church 
discipline. I feel that neither will the church do justice to itself, nor assume 
its true weight and character in the world, until it has taken a decisive and a 
Christian gronnd on this great matter. I do not understand wherein consists 
the duty of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, unless it be in adapting and 
applyiug its several truths and principles to the errors which prevail at the 
time in which we live, to their correction, and to the deliverauce, first, of the 
persons entangled in those errors and vices, from their guilt ; and, secondly, 
of all such as suffer through them, from their injuries. If it be your opinion, 
then, my Christian brethren of every name, that slavery is a curse, it must be 
a matter of iuterest to you that those who are cursed by it may be delivered 
from their calamity ; and if it be in your judgment a guilty thing, you cannot, 
as friends of the gospel of Christ, be relieved from your responsibility, until 
you have taken such ground as the gospel tells you to take in reference to all 
such as are implicated in this vice. 

Mr. Stovel concluded by reading the outline of a scheme for a series 
of resolutions which he had prepared, and moved — 

That the paper read by the Eev. B. Godwin he referred to a Sub- 
committee, consisting of the Revs. N. Colveb, W. Knibb, B. Godwin, 
J. A. James, and Mr. G. Thompson, with instructions to prepare 
resolutions thereon, of which it is recommended that a paper read by 
the Rev. C. Stovel form the basis. 

Rev. J. H. Johnson seconded the resolution. 

Bev. N. COLVEB,.— I would inquire whether the subject now before the 
meeting is to be laid aside, and to be called up and discussed when the paper 
is presented ; or whether the discussion is to go on now ? 

Bev. C. STOVEL. — I have no objection to the discussion going on now, but 
perhaps it may be better when the paper is prepared. 

Bev. E. GALXJSHA.— I would beg leave to suggest that so much truth 
aud light may be elicited from the discussion, that the Committee will be 
better prepared afterwards to embody the views of the Convention, than if 
they were ignorant of the particular arguments which may come before them. 
Bev. JOHN YOUNG.— I shall only detain the meeting a very few 
moments. It is evident that the feeling and conviction of the meeting are 
with the resolutions which have beeu moved by Mr. Stovel. I perfectly 
agree with the first portion of these resolutions, and with all that has been 
said in reference to the paper which has been read ; but I totally disagree 
with the principle involved in the resolutions ; and I could not conscientiously 
and honestly refrain from expressing my opinion to this effect. We are a 
Conveution from various deuominatious of Christians ; members of the 
Society of Friends, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, 
Independents, and Methodists. Had the resolutions been proposed to a 
Baptist union, or an Independent uuion, or a Presbyterian synod, or an Epis- 
copalian couvocation, theu, indeed, had it been my lot to be a member of 
any of those bodies, I should have concurred in these resolutions, but I totally 



57 

dissent from the principle that this Convention should take any part in matters 
of church discipline. There arc churches to which these resolutions cannot 
apply at all. I may he excused for referring to the Roman Catholic Church, 
and the Episcopalian hody, in which the exercise of the discipline belongs not 
to the parties whom you address. I think all the good which we design or 
desire will he accomplished by a strong expression of our sentiments on the 
general subject, without pronouncing that churches ought to exercise discipline 
and exclude certain parties from their communion. It appears to me, that 
when we have strongly uttered our sense of the sinfulness of slavery, and the 
perfect inconsistency of any man professing the Christiau religion, being either 
a slave-owner or in any way identified with slavery, we have done all which 
it is competent for us to do. There are some of the minuter details to which 
also I should demur ; but the principle of the whole I decidedly object to, and 
I move as an amendment — 

"That all the words from the word ' thereon' be omitted." 
Rev. William James (of Bridgewater), seconded the amend- 
ment. 

Rev. H. TAYLOR, (of Woodbridge).— I have attended almost all the meet- 
ings of delegates since the question of slavery has attracted the attention of 
the British public, and I confess that, as a Protestant Disseuting Minister, I 
have never heard a set of resolutions announced at any meeting which I more 
cordially and fully approve, than those which have been read by Mr. Stovel. 
I do trust, by the integrity of our faith, as Christian men— by the intensity of 
our desire, to see this abomination of slavery wiped away from the face of the 
earth, that we shall pass the resolutions which have been moved. I contend 
that we do not interfere in church discipline iu adopting the resolutions moved 
by Mr. Stovel. If you were to attempt to enforce any resolution enacting 
laws for a church, or in the name of a church, I would be the first to contend 
to the death against it ;. but we do not. Wc are assembled here, a Convention 
for the world, to put down slavery, by the blessing of God. We only propose, 
in our collective capacity, to recommend all Christian men who are associated 
together in any form as Christian men, to make it a matter of grave considera- 
tion with themselves, whether slave-owners or legislators for slavery, or the 
protectors and abettors of slave-owners, should sit with them as Christians 
holding the truth in Jesus Christ. That is all that is proposed to this 
meeting, that is the whole ; and I have seldom been more astonished, I might 
say, more grieved, than when I heard a well-known and highly-approved 
minister of Christ request that those resolutions should be withdrawn. I hold 
these resolutions to be among the strongest and best practical measures I have 
ever met with on the question. For years I have come up to London, and 
attended meetings of delegates day and night, and I protest to you my soundest 
conviction is, that I never yet met with a practical matter brought forward 
so well adapted as this. I have never heard anything suggested to be done, 
(aud let us bear in mind that we come here to do), that appeared to me more 
likely to prove effectual. I trust, therefore, that we shall send forth this 
recommendation with all the weight that our gravest aud our unanimous 
approbation can attach to it. 

Mr. O'CONNELL.— I really think that we are agreed in principle, if 
wc understood one another ; and that there is no difference between the 



58 

respected gentlemen who moved and seconded this amendment, and the 
majority, if not the entire, of this assembly. We are agreed, first, that uothiug 
can be more complicated in its sinfulness than slavery. It is the violation of- 
all private morals, it is robbery, by taking away from the man the 
right to the reward of his own work. It is multiplied murder in all its details ; 
and as it is of the most enormous sinfulness, there is not a Christian man 
among us that must not abhor it from the bottom of his heart, according to 
the sincerity with which he worships his God. That being so, we have next 
to consider what our purpose is in coming here. It is not to attempt to 
interfere with the discipline of any of the churches to which we belong. For 
my part, I would not presume to vote on a question respecting the church to 
which these gentlemen belong. I do not belong to them, and would not 
presume to interfere with their discipline. Liberality does not consist in a 
man's giving up a portiou of what he himself believes ; that is not liberality, 
but latitudinarianism, which I do not, for one, approve of, or relish. Liberality 
consists in giving to others that which we claim for ourselves : namely, the 
entire, independent exercise of our judgments and our conscience before God, 
and the discipline and doctrine of the church to which we belong. We 
cannot, therefore, dictate discipline to each other, but cannot we recommend 
it 1 We are here to recommend, and cannot we recommend it to every 
church 2 You do not belong to the church to which I belong, I do not belong 
to the church to which yon belong, but will it be the worse for this or that 
church, that it has the sanction of an humble individual, zealous for the same 
things which you are zealous for? I am sure there is nobody in my church 
that would not be glad to get the recommendation of such an assembly as 
this, to carry out, what the highest authority in that church has lately recom- 
mended so emphatically and strongly to all Christians joining in communion 
with him ; and who has put on record one of the most eloquent and urgent 
recommendations respecting the utter sinfulness of slavery, and the necessity 
of adopting measures in that church to have it abolished completely, and 
calling on the clergy to act upon it. Many of them have already done so, 
and the rest of them will. Well, then, as far as recommendation may we 
not go ? Further we ought not. But in letting the question go to the com- 
mittee, we shall see whether they can form a resolution, leaving the conscience 
of every individual perfectly free ; but allowing all as fellow-creatures and 
men interested in the cause of humanity, to recommend to each other, to vie 
one with another in doing good. Different churches have had rivalry hereto- 
fore, setting one above the other ; it is natural, perhaps not wrong, but let us 
vie with each other in proclaiming the sinfulness and abominations of slavery, 
and in promoting that cause that will banish from humanity the horrible crime 
of making man a property, and which makes the woman weep that she has 
given birth to a man-child. I think upon this point we must be agreed. I 
perceive that the respected gentleman, who very properly followed his owu 
conscientious feelings, agrees in letting it go to a committee ; then let it go 
without further discussion. We are not bound by any thing the committee 
does, until the resolutions come before us ; when they do seriatim, we will 
consider them, each respecting the religious scruples and opinions of the 
other, all of us concurring in the great duty of humanity, to break the fetters 
of the slave, and to terminate the dreadful sinfulness of this system. 

WILLIAM BALL, Esq.— I thought before the last gentleman rose, and I 
still think, that the meeting requires to be set right in one point. I appre- 



liend that the very words Cham.es Stovel uses are, " recommend to 
consider ;" aud as this question has been mooted, I wish to warn this 
assembly, (the most interesting that perhaps ever assembled in relation 
to this cause), how they repudiate the principle which the resolution goes 
to support. 

Rev. E. GALUSHA.— One word in behalf of America. However distinctly 
yon may avow your sentiments, in relation to the moral character and 
tendency of slavery, it will have little effeet on the American churches, 
unless you definitely express an opinion as to the application of those 
principles to the discipline of the churches ; for the doctrine of abstraction 
will be the subterfuge to which they will immediately fly. They will say, 
This Convention, it is true, believes slavery to be sinful, and so do we in 
the abstract ; but you see they very carefully guard against an intermed- 
dling with these subjects in churches. The circumstances are so peculiar, 
the laws are of such a character and teudency, and the complicated diffi- 
culties that gather around American slavery are such, as render it totally 
impracticable and inexpedient to exercise discipline in relation to it. If 
yon wish to do them good, put your finger not only ou the principle, but 
on the very point where you would apply it, to render it effectual in destroying 
this monster, and the protection that is given him in the churches of America 
and of the world. 

Rev. W. KNIBB. — So intensely do I feel in the discussion of this ques- 
tion, so firmly convinced am I of its utility, that I most earnestly entreat 
all the ministers of Jesus Christ by whom I am surrouuded, to give it 
their careful attention. It was my misfortuue, when I first left England, 
to be trammelled with instructions, as all missionaries are, but I burut 
them ; and as soon as I had made up my mind that slavery was iucon- 
sistcnt with Christiauity, I at once came to the conclusion that it was 
inconsisteut with the gospel terms of church-fellowship. I spoke to the 
persons who were slave-holders in the church, and they assured me, that 
if I had only spoken earlier, they would earlier have relinquished their 
practice. I am happy to say, that they at once did so ; and the church 
was free from the stain. They are now as fully conviuced as our Anti- 
Slavery friends in America are, that if wc can but obtain from the pastors 
of Christian churches a distinct recognition that the slave-owner has no 
right to commuuion in a Christian church, that slavery in twelve months, 
or little more, will fall in America. If this proposition is uot carried, I 
shall retire from this Convention with feelings of the deepest pain ; if it 
is carried I shall feel that I have had a great honour, not merely in being 
preseut, but that I am most fully recompensed for leaving, for a time, the 
island of Jamaica to attend it. I do hope that no fear, lest the independence 
of the church should be touched, will keep us away from the grand point, that 
slavery is a sin ; aud can we consider that man who participates in it to be a 
fit subject for church-fellowship 1 

Rev. H. GREW. — I am constrained by the importance of this subject to 
offer a word or two upon it. I do uot advocate any dictation to the 
churches. I perfectly agree with my friends on that point ; but the simple 
recommendation of this important matter to the churches throughout the 
length and breadth of the land, commends itself to my understanding and to 
my conscience. The holding within Christian churches of those who malce 
merchandize of the souls of men, who rob man of all his rights, is the main 



pillar in our land, if not in yours, of the whole system of this abominatiou. 
When wc plead there the cause of oppressed humanity, we are pointed to the 
church as a sufficient refutation of all our arguments, and of all our appeals 
to the undcrstau dings and to the hearts of our fellow-men ; and we despair, 
notwithstanding all our arguments, and all our efforts, we despair of the 
consummation of the desire of our hearts, in seeing the last fetter broken 
while the church of Jesus Christ practically sanctions this evil, and (awful 
thought) ! practically declares that the great head of the church is a slave- 
holder. I will not trespass on the time of this meeting any further than to 
express my earnest desire that we may proceed with the recommendation, aud 
send it forth throughout all the world. 

JAMES FRANCILLON, Esq., (of Gloucester).— I am by temper and habit 
a listener rather than a speaker, nor would you have heard my voice on this 
occasion, were it not that besides urging you by all means to adopt these reso- 
lutions, I think I am able to remind you of a fact in the history of this country 
and of Europe which is a precedent in this matter, and which, perhaps, will 
induce you to believe that a measure of this sort will be really and truly 
effectual. We are accustomed to confine our attention in these meetings to 
the horrid system of slavery with which we are acquainted by the relations of 
travellers, and the reports of those who have resided in the West Indies while 
slavery existed there ; but I was pleased to hear in the religious discourse 
with which this meeting was opened, an allusion to the slavery of ancieut 
Rome, and to the slavery of ancient states in various parts of the world ; states 
which called themselves "free," which asserted their freedom, and yet were 
possessors and oppressors of domestic slaves ; like some modern states, which 
call themselves free, and have fought for, and won, their freedom, yet, never- 
theless, have disgraced it in the way of which I am speaking. When I heard the 
gentleman in his mention of them say, that in the prevalence of Christianity 
the slavery of ancient Rome has disappeared from the face of the world, (of 
course he was speaking of the domestic state of ancient Rome), theu I thought 
also of that which within these 400 years was part and parcel of the law of 
this country, and which is now an uurepealed law, except by the feelings, 
habits, practice, and the usage of the people, but still unrepealed by the voice 
of the legislature, — I mean the existence of villainage or boudage on the part 
of the landed proprietor. It was by the prevalence of Christianity, and by the 
exertions of the clergy of the two churches, which have oue after the other 
been established in this country, by the exertions of the clergy of the church 
of Rome particularly, I believe, that villainage disappeared. Legal historians 
will tell yon that it was the practice and habit of the church at that time not 
to excommunicate, because, perhaps, the laws of the church would not justify 
them ; but in their intercourse with their flocks, which confession gave them, 
to direct restitution for wrong, and by recommendations with regard to 
penance, there was an influence exerted by the clergy on the feelings of the 
people, and one after another villains were emancipated, and severed from 
the state to which they belonged. They became, in many instances, small 
landed proprietors. I may advert to the circumstance, that, to the action, 
of the clergy on Christian priuciples and motives, are we, in all probability, 
indebted in a great measure for the disappearance of slavery from this free 
land. I feel that I have said more than was necessary for the purpose of 
bringing forward the historical fact to which I have adverted ; if, however, 
any argument can be built on it, I shall consider that I have not done wrong 



61 

in alluding to it. I have only one other point to touch upon, The resolution 
read by the gentleman who proposed the reference to the committee, contained 
some phrases which seemed to me to involve matters of very high principle ; 
and I want, therefore, to ask, for the information of the committee the mean- 
ing of one phrase which dropped from his lips, involving, according to my 
notion, some of the most important features of the subject. With the utmost 
possible respect, I would ask the gentleman what was the meaning of the 
words, when he proposed that the church should deal harshly and with cen- 
sure on persons who held slaves, when no merciful reason for doing so could 
be suggested. Now, I should have supposed that slavery being ascertained to 
be, as I believe it is, a claim to property which is altogether null and void, 
which has no existence in the law, or in the will of God, and which cannot be 
recognised by any person who respects the will of God, and reveres it ; I 
should have thought those words, if introduced in any resolution we adopt, to 
be inconsistent with the notion upon which we all act ; and I should like to 
know what Christian and good man could suggest any possible merciful reason 
for the assertion of a property by one man, iu the person or rights of another. 
I ask this with the utmost respect, and I take the opportunity of suggesting, 
that whatever resolution may emanate from the committee, or be adopted by 
the Convention, we should never lose sight of the fact, that slavery regarded 
as a property, as a right, has no manner of existence ; it has only existed as a 
crime, a sin, an usurpation, a thing to be resisted and overturned by every mau 
that has the feelings which ought to distinguish one of that race of beings 
which God has endowed with the faculties, understanding, and powers that 
we possess. 

Rev. C. STOVEL— The reason why that phrase was introduced is this, 
I wish to allow slave-holders all that can be allowed, to give them an 
opportunity of stating, if they can state, a Christian and benevolent reason 
for holding a slave. I think this is fair, though we wish for further informa- 
tion upon it. I would appeal to our friend, Mr. Birney, whether there may 
not be such a case for holding a slave, pro tern. ? Suppose a man, passing from 
one state to another, while wishing to liberate his slaves to greater advan- 
tage ; I would give him an opportunity of doing it, and of holding the slave 
if he found it necessary. I have been told on good authority, that there were 
cases in which mercy would dictate the holding of a slave for a time, that he 
might be liberated to greater advantage. If such a case could be shown, I 
would not excommunicate a man who had that purpose in view. I do not 
stickle for the phrase. I hold slavery to be a sin, as absolutely as any man 
can do. 

Eev. N. COLVEK. — I know I am appointed on the committee, and therefore 
I shall say nothing to commit myself with the committee. It is only on one 
point that I get up at all. It is to the delicate point suggested by my friend 
on my right (Mr. Youstg), of this Convention expressing an opiuion or desire 
to the various churches and denominations of christians, that they should 
exclude the slave-holder from church fellowship. There seemed to be a 
delicacy in his mind. I myself have none upon this point. I will give a very 
brief illustration of my views. A short time since there was a disturbance in 
the Canadas, and a great many persons from the United States who were fond 
of trouble and commotion, and interfering with other people's business, went 
over there and assisted in making trouble in Canada ; and when pursued by 
the British arms (for they used carnal weapons, which would soon have quieted 



thcin), they fled back into the United States, and took shelter under our gO« 
vemment. The British Minister on finding this to he the ease, sent to request 
our government, which acted on the laws of neutrality, not to give shelter to 
the disturbers of their peace. Our country readily responded to that request. 
"Was there on the part of England an unjustifiable interference with our 
government matters in this respect ? Not at all. Now we do not attack 
slavery with carnal weapons, but with the two-edged sword of the Spirit, the 
word of God. We get on the track of a slave-holder ; and he finds his shelter : 
where ? in the Church of God. Now is it interfering with the manner of that 
church's government, or the rights of that church, if, with very great humility 
and respect we say, " Brethren wont you refuse shelter to a slave-owner ; 
wont you tuna him out to our weapons ? wont you let us get at him ; wont 
you withdraw your protection and put him out 1" I put it to my friend, if 
this is an interference with church government ; of such an interference I 
should be guilty with a neighbour under like circumstances. If a man took 
shelter in my neighbour's house, and from that house sallied out to commit 
depredations on the children and weak around, if the ueighbonrhood was 
aroused and pursued the aggressor, and found him constantly taking shelter in 
this neighbour's house so that we could not get at him ; if we should rap at 
the door of that house, and say, " Sir, wont you cease to give shelter to this 
aggressor on our rights %" And suppose my friend (Mr. Y.) was in there, 
what would he say 2 — " This is interfering with family matters." Sir, I have 
no such delicacy, and I trust when my friend looks at the simple point before 
ns,his delicacy will disappear. 

"WILLIAM BOULTBKE, Esq. (of Birmingham).— If it is intended that the 
interference of this Convention is to be of a dictatorial nature, I shall support 
the amendment. But I understood that there was a wish to urge upon the 
churches a recommendation to turn this crying iniquity out of their commu- 
nities. If that be so, I see no objection at all to the adoption of the origiual 
motiou, for I think that will be productive of vast benefit. But whether the 
original motion or the amendment be carried, I hope the discussion will be con- 
tinued ; not only that according to the wish of the gentleman opposite, the 
committee to be appointed should be put in possession of the opinions of the 
Convention, but because I am a great frieud to order, and as I fiud that a great 
many things have been brought forward at different times, and dropped and 
resumed again, I think it will be better to dispose of this subject regularly. 
Besides this, there are many gentlemen now present who may not be present 
on auothcr occasion. 

Mr. G. THOMPSON.— We are now debating in the dark ; we are utterly 
unacquainted with the principle upon which Mr. Young objects to the 
resolutions. I confess that I am myself unacquainted with his priuciple, 
and I do not see how we can get at the truth until we are made acquainted 
with it. 

Rev. J. YOUNG. — I will state the principle in a very few words. First 
of all allow me to say that there is no hesitation in my mind in regard 
to the utter inconsistency between the support of slavery and Christianity. I 
do not belong" to a church which would acknowledge among its members a 
slave-dealer or a slave-holder. I do not belong to a church in which the 
slave-holding interest has the smallest place, or would be tolerated for one 
Therefore I quite agree with the opinion that has been uttered on 
is sides of the room, that slavery is a sin, and being a sin, is inconsistent 



with church fellowship. But then while such is my individual opinion on the 
subject of Christian and church communion, it appears to me that this is not 
the place, and we are not the body to pronounce on the terms of church coni- 
muuion, and the rules of church discipline. I came here to pronounce on the 
question of slavery alone. I have my own views, as other gentlemen may 
have theirs, with respect to the terms of Christian fellowship, but I do not 
think it belongs to us as a Conveution to pronounce upon them. 

Mr. G. THOMPSON.— I wish to ask Mr. Young if he interprets the 
resolutions now under discussion to imply dictation to the churches to alter 
their principles of communion ; or does he understand the resolutions only to 
apply to slavery as a sin to be taken cognizance of by the churches, and 
treated as other sins. 

Rev. J. YOUNG-.— I think the language of the resolutions goes much 
farther than a simple recommeudation. "We do in these resolutions pro- 
nounce our verdict as to the manner in which all churches should exercise 
discipline and regulate their fellowship, and secure the purity of their commu- 
nion. This is no paltry or trifling question ; it is a momentous one. It lies at 
the very foundation of that harmony by which this Convention, I trust, will 
continue to be characterized, and which is most likely to be best promoted by 
adhering strictly to those matters which fall within our proper province. As 
an individual, aud in connexion with the particular Christiau society to which 
I belong, I go to the full extent of the princij)le contended for by Mr. Stovel. 
But in this general Convention, made up of members of many different 
communions, I think we should be travelling beyond our sphere, were we to 
recommend the adoption of certain terms of fellowship by all Christian 
churches. 

Mr. O'CONNELL.— My opinion is, that you should not adopt any reso- 
lutions now, but refer them to a committee who should investigate and inquire 
into them, and consider whether they should be proposed or not, or whether 
any others should be i> 1 '°P ose< l to tne Convention generally for their 
adoption. 

Rev. C. STOVEL.— It really is not my intention to dictate to any chnrch. 
I would not submit to the dictation of any other church ; my own deno- 
mination never would ; neither wonld we dictate to another church. But 
I declare a principle, and I ask others to consider whether upon that principle 
they ought not to judge so and so. I ask for their judgment, and I wish to 
press it upon their consciences to judge honestly. 

Rev. J. YOUNG-.— But in asking for their judgment you throw in your 
own. Now, I say this Convention is not the party to pronounce an opinion in 
that way. 

Mr. BLAIR. — Though it was my intention during the sitting of the 
Convention to cautiously abstain from occupying your attention, I shall 
not give a silent vote on this occasion, because I consider that one of the 
most important and practical measures that has ever been proposed is before 
us. I have long been most desirous that such a resolution as this should be 
adopted ; and in a former Convention I have taken the liberty to throw out a 
suggestion similar to this, if not a recommendation* of the same kind : for I 
have long been most deeply convinced that one of the main props and supports 
of slavery is the countenance given to it by the Christian church. A more 
effectual blow caunot be made at the atrocious, and unrighteous system thau 
by recommending to Christian churches the exercise of Christian discipline in 



64 

the case of slave-holders and dealers ; as tliey would in the case of any other 
unrighteous offender against the laws of God aud humanity. I hope, there- 
fore, that in the name of God and of outraged humanity, this meetiug will 
unanimously agree to the resolutions proposed. 

Kev. N. COLVER.— Would it not be tetter, in order to save time, that 
the resolutions should go at once to the committee ? 

Mr. Joseph Stuege suggested that the resolutions should be read at 
length, which was done. 

Dr. GREVILLE I should uot have risen, if I had not understood that 

the discussion should proceed, in order that the committee might be led 
into a knowledge of the general feeliugs of the Convention on this sub- 
ject. I am decidedly of opinion, that every Christian church ought to 
exercise discipline in such a case as that which has been adverted to. The 
question is, whether we can make the language of the resolutions such as to 
induce us to adopt them unanimously. It appears, that the only difficulty lies 
in the Convention using language which would be thought dictatorial to the 
churches. I think that we may use language which, without the slightest 
compromise of principle, and without at all interfering with the discipline of 
the churches, would convey all that the reverend gentleman would convey. 
"We may declare slavery to be inconsistent with Christianity, and we may 
communicate that resolution to others. If you please, yon may enter into 
considerable detail, and recommend your opinions to the consideration of all 
Christian churches as churches ; you may word your resolution in such a 
way as to make it impossible for auy one to take it in any other sense, thau 
as a subject of church discipline ; aud yet you may avoid using the terms 
" excommunication " and " church discipline." If this can he done, it ought 
to be done. We must not wound the feelings of Christian brethren ; at the 
same time, we must not compromise principle. Thus yon will gain what you 
wish. I think it is because the Christian church has not done its duty, that 
slavery exists in many parts of the world, particularly in the United States 
generally. Believing this, I think, I am not going too far, when I say, that 
what I have stated will have the sympathy of our Americau brethren 
present. 

Mr. BIRNEY.— I will briefly reply to a question which lias just now been 
put to me, and which is to be answered before the committee retires, to 
whom the subject, with which the question is connected, has been confided. 
" Is there any case in which the slave-holder, judging him by the law of 
God, is guiltless 1" — is a question with which the abolitionists of America 
have been studiously met by their opponeuts, and one which they have been 
under the necessity of examining and deciding on with the utmost circum- 
spection. It would be altogether out of my purpose to enter, at this time, 
on what is understood to be the scriptural view of the question. The 
abolitionists in America believe, that the servitude spoken of in the Old 
Testament, as prevailing among the Hebrews, and sanctioned by the laws of 
Moses, was not, either in fprm or substance, similar to that state of things 
known in more modern times, under the name of slavery. Wherever Hebrew 
masters converted the honourable and beneficial servitude of Moses' law into 
a scheme of oppression and wrong, at all approximating to modern slavery, 
they brought on themselves and their nation the displeasure of God. His 
displeasure against them for obstinately persisting in it, was signally mani- 



fested in having permitted that people to he almost* wholly destroyed, and 
the remnant themselves led away into captivity. The texts of the New Tes- 
tament, which are so often pleaded hy the slave-holders of the present day, in 
support of their system, are believed, when put to this use, to be misinter- 
preted and misapplied. For one mau to compel another to labour for him 
all his life, without reward ; to scourge and punish him if he ask a cessation of 
the wrong, or attempt peacefully to escape from it ; to sell, and thus forcibly 
separate from him for ever, his wife or his children ; to shut him out systema- 
tically from the means of intellectual improvement, or of learning to read and 
understand the holy scriptures, and of purifying his spirit to prepare for the 
enjoyments of the life which is to eome ; all this, and every part of it, is believed 
to be irreconeileable with the spirit of the New Testament ; more irrecon- 
cileable with that spirit, on the received prineiples of biblieal interpretation, 
than the texts relied on by the scriptural advocates of slavery can be shown, 
on the same prineiples of interpretation, to be reeoncileable with their system. 
Therefore, we believe, that the texts in question, to whatever system they may 
have had application at the time they were written, cannot properly be used to 
support such slavery as we have in America. To suppose that they authorize 
slave-holders to do, what they aetually do daily, to such of their fellow- 
ereatures as they have reduced under their power, is impiously to assert, that 
God has given us laws whieh He justifies us in transgressing. But, not to 
dwell longer on this mode of proving the slave-holder, as such, always guilty ; 
is not every act which he puts forth against his fellow-men, by virtue of his 
being a-slave-lwlder, a violation of natural justice 1 And is not a sacred observ- 
ance of natural justice ineuleated in the Bible ? A slave-holder would not 
hesitate for a moment to admit, that a refusal on his part to pay me for work 
which I had done for him, at his instance, would be a violation of the first 
prineiples of justice. And why ? Simply, because, as a free man, I still 
possess the right to enforce my elaim. And why does he not eonsider it a 
violation of justice to refuse to pay the slave for his labour 3 Is it not because 
the slave has been stript of his power to enforee his elaim ? And is not this 
itself a violation of natural justice 2 Surely it is. And who has perpetrated 
it ? The slave-holder. And shall he he permitted, in any civilized eom-' 
munity, to acquit himself of the charge of violating the first principles of 
justiee in one ease, hy pleading that he has violated them in another. "Why 
does not the slave-holder sell the wife or the child of his white, iustead of 
his eoloivred, neighbour ? Why does he load the latter with chains, immure 
him in dungeons, laeerate his body, and shrivel up his mind ? Why commit 
each of these wrongs against him ? It is heeanse he has committed other 
wrongs against him. As well, sir, might the foulest ontrager of female 
honour defend himself by pleading that he had first slain the natural 
protector of his vietim, the husband or the father. I will not detain the" 
Convention longer on this subject. Let the principle that I have applied in 
the several cases used for illustration, he made the test of every act, that is 
peculiarly a slave-holding act, and yon will find that, without exception, they 
are aets which neeessarily involve a violation of natural jnstiee, and the 
plainest preeepts of Christianity. 

Rev. THOMAS SWAN, (of Birmingham).— I cannot allow myself to give 
a silent vote on this question. I not only approve of the prineiple, but I ex- 
ceedingly rejoiee that it has been proposed for our adoptiou ; and I eonsider 



that this meeting, in acting upon the recommendation which has been so beau- 
tifully explained by the distinguished individual who has just spoken, will 
produce effect. I am truly happy to find that my brother Stovel has risen 
to this point, and I am very glad to aid him in this measure. Our benevolent 
friend, Mr. Sturge, well knows that we have acted on this principle for some 
years in Birmingham, and we have suffered not a little animadversion for so 
doing. I, therefore, hope that the principle will be generally acted upon. It 
will only be in accordance with the sentiments expressed in such mellifluous 
eloquence yesterday by our venerable chairman ; it will only be in accordance, 
too, with the declarations of the member for all Ireland. He told us that we 
were not met to talk and display our talents for public speaking, but to work. 
I remember, too, that last year our brother Stovel made an apt quotation 
about facta non verba. I am glad to find that we are going to do something. I 
believe it is competent for this meeting to pronounce a fair verdict on tins 
subject. The churches in the Southern States of America are dens of iniquity 
as far as slavery is coucerned. Look at the book, " The Thousand Witnesses." 
"We must speak out, and, I trust, we shall speak out boldly. We do not wish 
to interfere with any of your churches in America ; but we may assemble, and 
pronounce, that a man continuing in a sin— a sin which includes all manner of 
iniquity— a sin which has almost every other sin attached to it— such a man 
ought not to be considered as a fit person to be a member of a Christiau 
church. I am of opinion that the right hand of fellowship should be given to 
no American minister, be he who he may, or what he may, or whatever be his 
powers of eloquence, even if he have the powers and eloquence of an angel, 
except he is prepared to say, not only that he is an abolitionist in the abstract, 
but that he will not retain in Christian fellowship the man who remains in the 
sin of slavery. Can it be believed that, in New York, and in the other 
Northern States, men have actually been subjected to the discipline of the 
church, for being guilty of the sin of abolitionism ? 

ISAAC CREWDSON, Esq., (of Manchester).— lam pleased with what has 
fallen from our American friend Biuney, and with the valuable information 
which has been given us ; but my object in rising is to say, that I think it is 
time to let this matter go to the committee. At present we are only losing 
time ; the committee will well consider the subject, and judge, I hope, for 
the best. I propose then that we at once send the matter to the committee. 

The CHAIRMAN.— However desirous we may be to close this discussion, 
I believe, if gentlemen insist upon it, they must be heard ; but I hope they will 
be brief. 

Rev. "W. ROBINSON, (of Kettering).— I am sorry to say one word in 
opposition to what appears to be the general feeling of the meeting. I believe 
that these resolutions are intended to apply not merely to slavery in Jamaica 
and America, to both of which places, I believe them to be very applicable, 
but to all places, and to all times. Now, the gentleman from Gloucester (Mr. 
Francillon) has made an historical allusion in connection with this subject, 
and I shall beg to make one more ; and, having made it, I shall leave it to your 
judgment. The Apostle Paul, we find, confirms the fact that there were slaves 
aud slave-holders in the early church ; for he says, " Ye slaves that have be- 
lieving masters, count them as brethren." Are you not about to say, "Ye 
slaves that have believing masters, count them not as brethren ?' I beg to 
suggest that Mr. Stovei. should leave out that part of the proposition which 



says, that these resolutions should be adopted by the committee as the basis of 
their proceedings. "Would it not be better that the committee to be appointed 
should be left free to decide upon their own report, to be subsequently sub- 
mitted to the Convention ? In that case I beg to propose, that the name of 
Mr. YouNa be added to the list of the committee. 

Eev. A. HARVEY.— I am a Presbyterian minister, and as much at- 
tached to my Presbyterian principles, as, perhaps, it is necessary I should 
be ; but I must say, that I see nothing in the recommendation at all incon- 
sistent with Presbyterianism ; and I think, from the representations which 
have been given of the different sections of the Christian community, every 
man in the commonwealth has a right to remonstrate, and recommend, and 
urge what he believes to be the truth, and true obedience to the law of God. 
The very fact that his brother bears the Christian name,gives him a right to tell 
him, if he is acting contrary to his conviction of Christian duty ; but if I assum e 
any undue authority over my brother, he has a right to tell me that " One is 
our master, even Christ ; " aud that I have no right to dictate to him on 
matters of conscience. "With reference to the precept which St. Paul addressed 
to slaves, I would remind the gentleman who mentioned it, that there is 
nothing in the resolutions to be modified by the committee, which it is 
intended to address to slaves at all on the subject ; but I would also remind him 
of another injunction which St. Paul gave to masters : — " Masters, render unto 
your servants the things that are equal." Are the slave-masters complying 
with this injunction ? — No. Therefore, we send our advice to the churches, and 
we just say to them, — "See that the apostle's injunction be carried into prac- 
tical execution." "We tell them to call upon "masters to render unto their 
slaves the tilings that are equal," and then they will render them their 
liberty ! 

Rev. "W. JAMES. — There can be no doubt that slavery is a heinous 
crime against the laws of God and man : all are agreed upon that. The 
question now is, whether we shall pronounce a distinct opinion upon the 
terms of church-fellowship, and send forth a resolution, worded as strongly 
as it can be worded, in order to produce the desired effects. I was present 
at the formation of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, and I 
remember listening to Dr. I/ushington, and hearing him declare, when a 
similar proposition to this was made, — "Gentlemen, you will injure your 
society materially, if, at its formation, you send out these opinions." The 
question now is, whether we shall not be issuing a recommendation against 
which a distinct opinion was then given, if we venture to declare upon the 
terms of church communion. I am not about to move another amendment ; 
but I would suggest, whether it would not be better to have the whole subjec t 
referred to a select committee, who should decide whether any, and what, 
distinct proposition should be submitted to this Convention arising out of the 
statement made by Mr. Godwin, and the resolutions read by Mr. Stovel. 
The committee will then determine whether it is advisable to introduce the 
question regarding this principle ; for I am sure we shall split upon it. 

Mr. "W. D. CREWDSON.— The resolutions which were first put to this 
meeting to-day, had my very cordial approbation ; aud I am exceedingly 
desirous that they should be referred to a committee, with no understanding 
that they should fritter them down to meet particular cases ; but to give 
honestly, and in the most straightforward manner, their opinions to the world, 



and shew what the feeling of the Convention has been. We see where the 
shelter has hcen taken hy those who, in America, consider themselves to be 
Christians; but I hold that no man who is decidedly and thoroughly a 
Christian, can hold his fellow man in bondage. For those who do consider 
themselves to be Christians, and yet commit this sin, we must not furnish any 
shelter hy weakening the force of these resolutions. I hope they will go to the 
committee with the clear understanding that the language is not tohefnttered 
down or shaped so as to cover any part of the iniquity. 

' The CHAIRMAN.— I am very reluctant to prevent any other gentleman 
from speaking ; hut I am rather inclined to think that we had better come to a 
vote upon the question at once. „„,.,. , t. 

Rev T. SCALES.— I feel as jealous of the rights of Christian churches 
as anv man Still I do not think, that hy a recommendation of the kind 
which has heen suggested from all parts of the room, the rights of churches 
will be at all interfered with. I will not, however, now express my opinion on 
that point ■ hut merely state to the Convention, what I think to be of very 
great importance, that whatever decision you now come to shouldbe a decision 
upon the principle, so that when the report of the committee is brought up, 
the question of the principle should not again be opened. For I am per- 
suaded, that if the discussion upon that point he renewed, we shall have an 
almost interminable debate. The subsequent discussion should merely be as 
to the details, and not upon the principle. 

Mr. STANTON.— Then, if that be the course adopted, onght we not now 
to admit of a great latitude of discussion? _ 

Kev T BINNEY.— I wish to ask what is meant by " the principle ? I 
merely wish to know what Mr. Stxtrge means by "the principle?" and 
whether he conceives that we are all agreed upon the principle? 

The CHAIRMAN.— If our friends mean to go on with the discussion upon 
the principle I cannot with propriety hastily let the subject go to a committee. 
The question is, whether the committee, in bringing up theirreport, should em- 
bodv in their resolutions this principle-that when persons connected with 
any Christian church are either slave-owners, or do aid and encourage slavery 
in any way, they should he subjected to church discipline ;. or, that merely a 
recommendation should he made that such a course should be pursued. _ 

Rev T BINNEY.— My own impression is, that it is a very short piece 
of logic If you declare that a certain thing is a sin, a great sin, and a great 
violation of Christian principle, I cannot understand how you can help drawing 
the inference, that a person living in that sin must he subjected to church 
discipline. I think the argument and the logic of the question as clear, as 
distinct and as short, as it possibly could be. But here is the difficulty which 
presents itself to my mind ; there were slave-ownersin the primitive church. 
I think, therefore, that the preamble of the resolutions is rather to be consi- 
dered than the resolutions themselves, because it does not refer to the different 
character of the modern system of slavery from that of the slavery of the 
early Christian ages. Is there any gentleman who will stand up and deny 
that there were slave-holders among the members of the primitive Christian 
churches ? Who can deny it ? 

A DELEGATE.— Not the present land of slavery. 

Kev T BINNEY.— That is the very point. Will any one stand up and 
say, that slavery was not known amongst the primitive Christians? I say 



not, that tie system was the same. But, I believe, that there were slaves 
and their masters, slaves and slave-owners, members of the church, under the 
■eye of the apostles, and that the members, who were slave-owners, were not 
brought before the church, and subjected to church discipline for being so. 
The argumeuts of our friend from Gloucester, have rather gone to point out 
the effect of the gentle insinuation of Christian doctrines and principles among 
the institutions of society, than to prove the extinction of slavery by eccle- 
siastical discipline. The principles and doctrines of the gospel operated, as 
vegetation operates upou a wall, gradually and imperceptibly, till it brings 
down the whole fabric. I have no objection to the resolutions, if the preamble 
distinctly states the difference between modern slavery and that of the early 
Christian ages. And unless this distinction be clearly set forth, you will 
bring many minds into a state of perplexity and doubt upon the matter. The 
continuance of the modern abomination canuot be tolerated among Christians. 
Its horrors and atrocities make it a completely different thing, in my opinion, 
from what existed in the first churches. 

WILLIAM DAWES, Esq, (delegate for Ohio, U. S.)— I anticipate great 
good as a result from the action of this Conference ; and iudulge a confidence 
that the question now before it, involving, as it does, principles and interests 
of the highest consideration to the cause of truth and of humanity will be faith- 
fully and prayerfully examined, and disposed of without any temporising. It 
will be readily acknowledged, that should this enlightened and influential 
body, in the least -degree give countenance, or admit the idea that the religion 
of Jesus authorised slavery, or justified any person in its practice, much 
and lasting iujury will be done. If I am mistaken, and you are not 
prepared to coincide with the injunction, "hold no fellowship with the 
unfruitful works of darkness," and to recommend others to do so, I have no 
hesitancy in declaring it as my belief, that evil rather than good will arise 
from the action of this body. My feelings will be better understood, when 
it is known that for many years I groped in the darkness of unbelief, 
scepticism, and infidelity ; and that in my view, much of the infidelity which 
shews itself throughout Christendom, owes its origin and life to the fact, that a 
false, in the place of a righteous, holy, and unadulterated gospel, Christianity 
has been extensively manifested. There is much infidelity in my country- 
infidelity which stalks unhlushingly abroad, and which is frequently so high 
and chaste in moral sentiment, as to declare that it is ashamed for those who 
make a high profession of godliness and sanctity, but whose practice is not 
only inconsistent with the common dictates of humanity, but revolting even 
to a sense of commercial justice. So far as the question before you relates to 
my country, it imposes the necessity of defining what Christianity is. If the 
spirit and precepts of Christianity do not authorise man to enslave his fellow- 
man, as many professed Christians in the United States maintain, then in 
my opinion, such a declaration should be emphatically aud unequivocally made. 
A distinguished physician, both a slave-holder and infidel, was a few years 
since, taken by divine grace from that black and horrible pit. This change 
opened on his view the truth in respeet to human rights, and he immediately 
gave freedom to his slaves ; and forthwith proceeded to beseech others of his 
acquaintance to do the same,— to give freedom and the Bible to the coloured 
man — and especially did he plead with those professing Christianity. One of 
whom in reply, assured him that some of his gang were pious. That the master 



70 

might not hide himself under this plausible subterfuge, the most intelligent was 
questioned respecting his views of Christ. la reply, the slave indeed professed 
much love to Christ, but when pressed a little to give a more definite answer, 
said that he believed the Lord Jesus Christ to be the son of Governor Desha, 
the man at that time the governor of the state. Of many others of their 
slaves, supposed to be pious, it is said that in prayer they frequently implore 
that God would make his appearanee on a large white or blaek praneing 
horse ; language which shows at onee their utter ignoranee of God, and of 
eourse of themselves, or the worship he requires. Now, if a system which 
encloses all this, and even much more, equally absurd, iniquitous, and* humi- 
liating ; a system whieh in faet involves the commission of every erime, is incon- 
sistent, and at variance with the principles and spirit of the gospel, then why 
not frankly and explicitly avow it ; and are we not, as Christians, solemnly 
bound to do it 1 In one-half of the states in the American union the ministers 
and ehureh members, with few exceptions, are either slave-holders themselves, 
or countenance the system. And even in the non-slave-holding states, 
sueh has hitherto been the course pursued by the great majority of the 
ministry and churches, that the vile system has been strengthened by their 
influence. Now, if pnre and undefiled religion eonsists in visiting the widow 
and fatherless in their affliction, and is based upon the fundamental principle, 
" Thou shaft love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as 
thyself;" then in the name of half a million of free eoloured people of my 
country, who set apart the first day of the sitting of this Convention as one 
of humiliation and prayer, to be observed by them, that the Lord would guide 
us in all our deliberations ; and as one beseeching for the three millions there, 
who are this day in cruel relentless bondage ; and in bowels of compassion for 
the misguided infidels of our land, who have their eyes upon the false rather 
than the true witnesses for Christ, and who stumble by not giving due heed 
to that witness within, which would incline them to search the scriptures, 
which testify of Him, whose "law is perfect, converting the soul;" and in 
pity to the slave-holder himself, who by persisting in his oppression puts in 
jeopardy his interests, both in the present life, and that whieh is to come ; 
and for Sion's best good— I have a right to ask, and to enjoin, that you should 
thus decide, and not temporise. 

Rev. J. A. JAMES.— I hope we shall not eome to a decision on this question 
without the fullest deliberation. "We are now touehing the mainspring of 
the whole subject. Our objeet is the extinction of the slave-trade, and in 
order to effeet this, we must put an end to slavery in America ; and to put it 
down in America, we must put it out of the ehureh in America ; and to put it 
out of the ehureh in Ameriea, we must press and \irge the strongest repre- 
sentation and remonstrance we can frame. The ehureh, let the abettors of 
slavery say what they will, is the main prop of slavery in Ameriea. The 
demon of slavery finds his haunt, and shelter, and defenee, not so mueh 
beneath the presidential, or indeed, the professional chair, as under the altar 
of the Lord in the house of our God. Therefore we must do something that 
shall tell upon the church. The influence of that sacred body in this matter 
is great. This is a moral question ; and we well know that the ehureh 
professes to be based on moral grounds ; and that moral influence is going 
out from it, either good or bad, according as the ehureh is following the 
precepts of the word of God. Therefore we must do something that shall 



71 

tell upon professors of religiou. I do not know any thing more likely to tell 
upon them than a temperate, hut firm and uncompromising declaration, such 
as is embodied in these resolutions. Though I will not take upou myself to 
say how they should he worded ; yet some such resolutions, I believe, are 
much wanted. And, belonging to a denomination, which is proverbially 
sensitive as to the rights of churches, which will allow of no innovation of 
those rights, and which would set at defiance this Convention itself, and ten 
times this Convention, if it affected to impose upon us any thing that should 
regulate our views touching the qualifications of our members, or what should 
be terms of communion ; I may say, that while we should resist with all our 
might such an attempt, I think we should stand prepared to listen to a repre- 
sentation, specially recommended, and coming to us, from such a body as this. 
But having mentioned this, I would still say, that the suggestion of Mr. 
Binney deserves the grave and serious consideration of the committee, when 
the subject shall be taken up by them. The slave-holder shelters himself 
under the scriptures, and tells you, there were slave-holders in communion 
with the primitive churches, and that these churches did not bring them to 
discipline for being so. I would, therefore, meet them on that ground, by 
shewing that modern slavery bears no analogy to the slavery of those times ; 
that, in fact, there were not then the light and discussion to reveal the enormity 
of the sin that there are now ; and that, therefore, modern slave-holders are 
altogether in a different position from that of the slave-holders of the days of 
the apostles. It would be wise to take up that suggestion in the preamble. 
We want to produce an effect on the public mind, both in America and at 
home. If we declare, and put forth, and make it to be felt both here and 
there, that modem slavery is incompatible with Christiauity ; we do not 
thereby determine the question, whether the slavery of apostolic times was 
so or not, but we shall do something to conciliate public opiuion towards 
us. "While we thus put out with all firmness our resolution, that the churches 
should serionsly consider whether they can retain slave-holders in their 
communion, we should at the same time intimate that modern slavery is that 
to which we particularly direct attention, leaviug them, of course, to defend 
the ancient slavery if they can. Our object is to convince them, that slavery 
as it now is, is a sin ; and such a sin as to disqualify every one who lives in it 
for church-membership. 

Mr. G. THOMPSON.— I scarcely know whether I ought to venture to 
assume the attitude of one who would break a lance with Mr. Binney, but 
I am disposed to males a remark or two on what he has advanced. Mr. 
Binney has placed before us this morning a fact, which has been often before 
urged on the attention of abolitionists on both sides of the Atlantic : viz. 
that slavery existed in the time of the apostles. Another gentleman has 
quoted a specific direction to slaves in the early Christian churches, to obey 
their masters. I do not think that either of those observations should be 
permitted to escape notice in a meeting like the present, lest any individual 
who has not so much considered the subject as others may have been obliged 
to do, should depart without those helps by which they have been able to 
come to a satisfactory conclusion upon a diificult and ofVdebated point. I 
grant that there were slaves in the church in the days of the apostles. I 
grant, with Mr. James, that the character of the slavery of those days, in 
many important poiuts, differed from the character of the slavery which we 



72 

ur day. But there are other circumstances, of equal, if not of 
greater importance, to be taken into accouut. The first of these is this— that, 
if St. Paul did not denounce slavery specifically, if he did not authoritatively 
enjoin upon masters the liberation of their [slaves, he was silent also upon 
many other subjects, respecting which there never has been a doubt from the 
time that sound morality has been propagated in the world. St. Paul did not 
come into the world an Anti-slavery lecturer ; he was appointed to propagate 
a new religion — salvation by the cross of Christ. I think it is important for 
all of us to remember this. If St. Paul did not go about denouncing specific 
sins, and prescribing specific penalties for those sins, he nevertheless laid down 
great principles, according to which we may safely judge with respect to any 
particular act or line of conduct brought under our view. Sir Isaac Newton 
when he brought into existence his system of astronomy, did not at the same 
time go into a minute and particular refutation of all and every one of the 
errors and absurdities which priestcraft, superstition, ignorance, and fraud 
had palmed upon the world. No, he proposed his pure system of truth, by 
which he drove away all and every error that had perplexed and confused the 
intellects of men. I am prepared to preach to the slave, peace and forgive- 
ness, and it is the practice of all abolitionists ; rather than to talk of taking 
his rights by force ; and I do not know in this day an abolitionist, either on 
this or on the other side of the water, who would not say, " Art thou called 
being a slave 1 Care not for it : but if thou mayest be made free, if thou 
canst beg or buy thy freedom, use it rather." I think it au exceedingly 
beautiful and most admirable illustration of the peaceful character of Chris- 
tianity that such precepts should have been given. But on the other hand, 
said he nothing to masters? While Paul addressed precepts to the 
slave, providing for the safety of property, aye, even for the safety of the 
slave as the property- of the master, and for every other kind of property, yet 
he also addressed precepts to masters. 

Mr. Clabkson here left the meeting, and the speaker paused. Mr. 
Sttjkge haying resumed the chair. Mr. Thompson continued, 

I was about to find fault with modern practices on the other side of 
the Atlantic. I know that there are preachers in the south who are ex- 
ceedingly fond of rummaging the precepts of St. Paul for props to slavery ; 
and who are constantly eujoining peacefulness, thankfulness, obedience, and 
industry on the one side, but on the other forgetting all the rest of St. Paul's 
precepts. It was not so with St. Paul. Did he enjoin upon any slave existing 
in those days, the course which has been referred to to-day % What said he 
to the masters % I stand corrected, if a correction can be administered, should 
I err in my view of St. Paul's mind on this subject. What is involved in the 
words, " Masters give unto your servants that which is just and eqnal ?" What 
in these, " The labourer is worthy of his reward I" What in these, " That 
no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter, because that the 
Lord is the avenger of all such J" What is involved in that grand rule 
according to which church-discipline was to be exercised against those 
drunkards and other vicious characters, including extortioners, who were to 
have no place in the Christian church, because there was a strict injunction 
to put away the evil person from amongst them % I argue, that if yon act 
upon those principles, you are bound to break every yoke and to let the 



73 

res. Having thus answered the point, started by Mr. Binney, 
that slavery existed in the earlier Christian churches; I come to the reso- 
lutions which contain a recommendation to the Christian churches on the 
other side of the Atlantic, to make slave-holding and slave-trading a matter 
of discipline. It is no novelty that the churches on the other side of the 
Atlantic, should receive a recommendation to exercise church discipline. 
They do exercise church discipline, and on many points, to my mind, 
by no means equal to slavery. For instance, in reference to those who distil 
or vend ardent spirits ; and many, many are the churches in the United 
States that will not allow a man a place amongst them who is a distiller 
of those deleterious drinks, or a vendor of them. Neither will they allow 
a gambler to be a church-member ; nor the mau who digs up the dead 
body of a man, to sell it. Yet they will allow a man to sit in the church who 
runs away with the living man and sells him to another ; and thus then- 
respect for the inanimate and unconscious corpse, is infinitely superior to 
their regard for the conscious and intelligent living being who stands 
before them. It will be no new thing for the churches in America to 
receive such recommendations, for they have received many such already 
from other assemblies, though not as august in their character as this. When I 
was in the United States, there was a discussion with regard to the matter 
before us. In 1801, the Presbyterians of the United States agreed to put down 
slavery ; more recently, all the free-will Baptists agreed to have nothing to do 
with the abomination ; and I was the bearer from the Baptist churches here, 
of a recommendation signed by 180 ministers, that slavery should be made a 
matter of church-discipline in all the Baptist churches throughout that 
country. Since I left the United States, the cause has been winning its way 
down to the present time. The eyes of the churches in America are upon this 
meeting : the eyes of the slave-holder are upon us. Slavery has been denounced 
by thousands, and yet the slave-holders have continued to forge fetters, and 
rivet them on the limbs of those within their power. Let us quit then the 
world of abstraction, and come to plain practical terms and purposes. Let us 
cease to carry our discussions into those sublime regions, into which many 
cannot follow us. Let us not seem as if we would have nothing to do with the 
lowerworld. Let us stigmatize the act of holding slaves, or of obtaining slaves 
as one to be utterly denounced, and let us not ascend into the clouds of meta- 
physical reasonings, unless it be to draw thence a thunderbolt to smite the 
system and destroy it for ever. I could tell you many things about the theo- 
logians of America that are heart-rending ; and many others, in connection 
with them, that are so ludicrous that they could scarcely be uttered without 
provoking your risibility. Christian ethics have, in the United States, been 
polluted at the very fountain head. Not only in the southern states of 
America, but even in the northern states, has this beeu done. And it has been 
done in the chairs of professors, and within the halls of universities. Brown 
University itself has not been free from the odium. Even in cases where the 
subject of slavery has been merely introduced in the form of an abstract 
question, and that in the course of an octavo volume, the lynx eye of a slave- 
holder has detected the abolition principle,and has immediately put the volume 
which contained it into the incl- a . ■• • or there is such a thing, even in 

America — has denounced the university from which the book issued, and has 
represented the student coming from that university as uufit to be received into 



74 

any situation of responsibility and confidence iu the south. But you must re- 
member, brethren and fathers, that you have to do with the common people as 
well as with ministers and officers of Christian churches. The priest's lips should 
keep knowledge, and they should impart iustruction to the people. But there 
are cases in which this knowledge and instruction is influenced by considera- 
tions which are by no means friendly to the advancement of your cause. Mr. A. 
or Mr. B. keeps slaves, and he exacts labour from them, and flogs them, aye, 
even females are flogged by his orders ; and yet he goes forth and preaches, 
and preaches quite as well as any other man can possibly do. There are a 
variety of sects in the United States ; but if you find all these sects of the same 
character ; if you perceive that they think and speak alike upon this subject; 
if they read and expound alike the writings of the apostle Paul, not excepting 
his Epistle to Philemon ;— it is surely necessary that yon should call their 
attentiou to pure and impartial views of this question, and even if you fail to 
convince and to convert the ministers and officers of Christian churches, yon 
will yet make a deep impression upon their people, and a powerful movement 
will be made in favour of your principles. But to refer again to St. Paul and 
his writings. He dealt with the subject in his day with a few general declara- 
tions and directions. But would he so deal with the subject in the present day ? 
When the system of slavery has been so long established, and established as a 
regular system, would he now deal with it by a few general principles and 
regulations ? No ! he would lay judgment to the line, and righteousness to 
the plummet ; and thus he would shake the whole fabric of slavery to its very 
foundation. Sir, I do hold that what the committee may do on the principle 
of the resolution now under discussion, will very materially assist our great 
cause. Aim to make the fountain pure. State your principles plainly and 
firmly. This is a course well worthy your character— worthy your position- 
worthy your great object— worthy what you have already done. You will 
thus show the truth and the justice of your principles. You will make it 
evideut what you consider you have a right to expect from those who profess 
the pure and generous principles of Christianity. You will thus deal as you 
ought with those who, while they have scrupulously tithed mint, and anise, and 
cummin, have yet neglected the weightier matters of the law, judgment, 
mercy, and faith. In thus fixing your principles you are exerting your legi- 
timate influence, and exerting it in a manner alike becoming your character 
and your great cause. You will thus bring the teachers of religion to consider 
what is due to consistency, and you will make the pulpit, — what it ought ever 
to be,— the faithful herald of the Great Emancipator— of Him who came to 
break every fetter — to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the 
prison doors to those who are bound. 

Rev. C. E. BIBT, (of Bristol).— Let me, in the first place, endeavour 
to set myself right with the meeting, that what I say may not be 
misunderstood. It is my intention to support the original resolution. 
I set out with an expression of my approbation of the principle of re- 
commending all the Christian churches throughout the world to con- 
sider whether they can conscientiously hold their fellow-creatures in 
slavery, aud also whether they can conscientiously regard as Christian 
brethren those who do so. Opinions have been expressed by differeut 
speakers as to the statement made by Mr. Binnet, in reference to the 
3 of slavery iu the primitive churches, but his statement was 



75. 

one of fact. Unquestionably in the primitive churches there were slave- 
holders ; but unquestionably, also, slavery in modern times is as different 
from the slavery in the apostles' day, as is the tiger from the dove. Unques- 
tionably, too, the principles laid down by the apostle in his writings, 
would go to put down the whole system most fully. In this country, we have 
but little difference of opinion upon this subject in our churches. At Bristol, 
we have been so anxious to preserve ourselves pure upon this subject, that we 
have found it necessary to resort to tests, though hating tests in the abstract ; 
but since the intercourse with America has become so easy by means of steaui 
navigation, we have found it necessary to form a resolution, that no minister 
from America should be allowed to preach in our pulpits who was not willing 
not only to profess his hatred to slavery in the abstract, but who was not also 
willing to make a good confession of his sense of Christian duty to exert him- 
self to put down slavery in every possible form. But I do not think that this 
test is quite sufficient. Many declare their detestation of slavery in terms so 
strong, that our hearts are quite warmed towards them ; and yet, from what 
we have heard respecting some of them, we have been obliged to entertain 
doubts whether they are very diligent and efficient advocates of abolition. 
We wisb to know plainly, whether in addition to the opinion they express as 
to slavery in general, they are determined to use all legitimate meaus of 
accoinplishiug this great and godlike ohject. We have been told by the mover 
of the amendment, that in the church, of which he is a member, a holder of 
slaves would not be recognized as a Christian brother ; and that he and tbey 
would at once repudiate all desire to hold friendly connexions with such 
persons ; and yet the mover of tbat amendment deprecates the sending forth 
to the Christian world the recommendation now proposed in the resolution. 
And can it he, that an assembly composed of persons of so mauy different 
denominations — Protestants and Catholics, Churchmen, Presbyterians, Dis- 
senters and Friends— an assembly in which all are of one heart and of one 
iniud, in which all alike declare their conviction of the injustice of slavery ; 
can it he, that an assembly can be conceived better calculated to send forth 
such a document I — a doenmeut which declares that persons holding slaves are 
unworthy to be members of Christian churches. For my own part, I should 
feel no hesitation in saying from any pulpit in the denomination to which 
I belong,— -« As you honour Him who in the fulness of time appeared in 
human flesh,honour that flesh in which He appeared ; and show yoursincerity 
by putting away from you all those who traffic in human flesh, or who hold in 
slavery any human being." And why may not we do that collectively which 
we conceive it our duty to do individually ? Let our opiuion, then, be 
plainly and clearly stated, and let that opinion be sent forth to the Christian 
church. Yesterday, we elected our Vice-Presidents, and appointed our Secre- 
taries ; and we fixed, as I believe, upon men whose services are likely to prove 
valuable and efficient. But the greater portion of our work must necessarily 
be done in committee. The most important labour must be performed by 
practical men. Let it be so performed, and let the benefit of their labours be 
reaped by the Convention at large. I approve most highly of the declaration 
more than once made, that we arc come here to work, and not to talk. 
I felt my heart warmed when one of the most active and persevering' 
labourers in this cause said, that if we did not labour in such a way as to 
advance the cause, we should in effect allow it to go back. Let u: 



i adjournment until the 



76 

active while our energies are fresh ; before our health or our vigour has been 
at all impaired ; let our labours be such as shall prove advantageous to our 
great and holy cause. I conclude by supporting the resolution which recom- 
mends sending forth to the Christian world the opinion, that Christianity and 
slavery cannot co-exist. They could not co-exist in the West Indies ; they 
must not co-exist in America. Let this go forth to the whole world. 

David Turnbull, Esq. (of Paris,) moved i 
afternoon. 

Eev. C. STOVEL.— I think I can put the matter into such a form as may 
meet the views of the friends of the cause, without an adjournment. 

Rev. T. BINNEY — I do not expect that I shall be able to attend the after- 
noon sitting. If I were present, I should not vote for the amendment, but 
for the original motion, with a slight alteration in the preamble. 

Rev. C. STOVEL.— Mr. Binney's objections would be fully met, if the 
words " modern slavery " were introduced in the preamble of the resolution. 

Captain STUART. — I shall regret exceedingly such an alteration. The 
difference between our position and that of primitive Christians was, that they 
were subjects, and that we were legislators : they submitted to laws already 
existing, we were making laws. We had the mastery of society, as it were ; 
we made the slavery, and we were now making laws in reference to it. 

Mr. Alexander, observed that there was scarcely an instance of 
a person who had spoken in favour of the amendment. The time of 
the Convention had been well spent, but it was now time that the dis- 
cussion came to a point. 

The question of adjournment was then put, and negatived by a very 
considerable majority. 

Mr. Stovel expressed his willingness to forego his right of reply, and 
leave the resolutions in the hands of the committee. 

Mr. G. Thompson suggested, that the whole question would come up 
when the report of the committee was presented. 

WILLIAM BROOKS, Esq., ( of Islington), said, there is not, in my mind, a 
doubt that it is a crime in a member of a Christian church to hold slaves, and 
that all who hold slaves are guilty of a gross dereliction of duty. But the 
question with me is, whether the present is just the body which should send 
forth a recommendation, such as that proposed by the resolution. 

The resolution and the amendment were then distinctly read by one 
of the secretaries, and were severally put by the chairman. Pour hands 
were held up for the amendment. The original resolution was carried 

The Convention then adjourned. 



SECOND DAY'S SITTINGS, SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 1840. 

(AFTERNOON). 

JOSEPH STURGE, Esq., in the Chair. 

Professor ADAM read the following paper on slaveby and the 

SLAVE-TRADE IN BRITISH INDIA. 

After the labour and sacrifices of the people of Great Britain for the 
abolition of slavery in the British West Indies, and for the protection 
of the coloured population of those colonies — labours and sacrifices by 
which it has been supposed by many, that the crime and curse of slavery 
had been for ever banished from the British dominions ; — it may well 
excite astonishment and indignation to learn the fact of the existence of 
slavery under the British government in India. 

1. Extent of Slavery in British India. — There has been no accurate 
census of the entire population of British India, much less an accurate 
registry of the slave population. Of the latter, various estimates have 
been formed. The lowest would make the slave population amount to 
not less than 500,000 ; another raises the number to 800,000, iucluding 
Ceylon, a crown colony, and Coorg, Cochin, and Travancore, which are 
dependent principalities in the Peninsula of India, not subject to the 
government of the East India Company ; a third estimate, unsupported 
by details, makes the whole number of slaves in British India about ten 
millions ; and a fourth estimate, equally unsupported by details, makes 
the number amount to twenty millions. With the strongest desire to 
avoid exaggeration, it is believed that the number does not fall short of 
one million, and probably greatly exceeds that estimate. 

2. Origin and sources of Slavery in British India. — With the ex- 
ception of an unascertained proportion of slaves of Arab and African 
birth or descent, a very large majority of the slave population of India 
consists of children of the soil, and the origin of their slavery was pro- 
bably conquest — the conquest and subjugation of the aboriginal race by 
the Hindus, and the subsequent conquest and subjugation of the Hindu 
race by the Mohammedans. Hindu law recognizes conquest as a princi- 
pal and legitimate source of slavery. Mohammedau law recognizes it 
as the sole legitimate source of slavery. The second source of slavery in 
India, and up to the present day a prolific source, is the sale of free 
children by their parents, and of free orphans by those who happen to 
have possession of their persons — a sale often made, it may be hoped, 



from the strength of natural affectiou on the part of the parents to 
preserve their offspring from starvation during the frequently recurring 
periods of famine, and often, there can be as little doubt, from the 
weakness and want of natural affection, to satisfy the cupidity of the 
parent or nominal guardian, and to subject the children to the degrading 
occupation of vice and prostitution. A third source of slavery existing 
and prevalent at the preseut day, is the sale of freemen by themselves, 
either for a sum of money, or in redemption of a debt previously 
ineurred. This is strictly bondage — that is to say, servitude or slavery 
under a bond or money-obligation. Practically the bondage is for life, 
and involves that of the wife and children of the bond slave. A fourth 
source of slavery, has been the sale of criminals, outcasts, concubines, 
and illegitimate children. This practice existed under the native 
governments, and in the early days of the British government, 
but as a mode of punishment was subsequently disallowed and 
repealed. A fifth source of slavery, largely prevalent at the present 
day, is kidnapping, prohibited, of course, by the British government, 
but eaused and cherished by the continued existence and maintenance of 
the institution of slavery. It is only by the abolition of slavery that 
kidnapping can be effectually prevented, by removing the temptation 
to the commission of the crime. A sixth source of slavery, is the im- 
portation of slaves by land and sea. The British territories in India are 
surrounded and intersected in all directions by native slave-holding 
states, from which slaves are clandestinely imported by land. The 
importation by sea is the source of slaves of Arabian and African birth 
or descent, found occasionally all over India, and existing to a con- 
siderable extent on the Malabar coast. The last source of slavery is 
descent from a slave parent or parents : in other words, slavery is 
hereditary, and descends from parent to child. This is the chief source 
of slavery in British India at the present day. 

3. Nature of Slavery in British India. — Without reference to the 
origin and sources of slavery, but with reference solely to their occupa- 
tions and treatment, slaves may be regarded either as prtedial or domestic. 
Domestic slaves are either male or female ; and male domestic slaves 
either are, or are not, eunuchs. Male domestic slaves who are not 
eunuchs, are iu general, it is believed, treated with mildness and 
indulgence. They have free ingress and egress to and from their 
master's house, and uninterrupted access to the courts of justice, and 



79 

thus the opportunity of preferring eomplaints is a eheck against oppres- 
sion and injustice, although it is admitted by the most respectable 
apologist for East India slavery, that examples of harsh, severe, and 
even cruel masters are not unknown. "With regard to those male do- 
mestic slaves who are eunuchs, the name alone is a sufficient description 
of the unnatural and atrocious barbarity that has been practised on them. 
The number of eunuchs is considerable, particularly in wealthy and volup- 
tuous Mohammedan families, being kept to. guard the females of those 
families. In one family, tbat'of the Nawab of Moorshedabad, it is 
known on official authority, tbat there were in 1837, sixty-three 
eunuchs. In one instance, in which 200 African boys were emasculated' 
at Jndda, only ten survived the operation ; and in the same proportion, 
in order that sixty- three should survive, 1197 must have been sacrificed. 
Thepractiee of emasculation is criminal, and punishable by the Moham- 
medan law as administered by the British Government in India. Fe- 
male domestic slaves are kept almost universally for licentious purposes, 
or employed as attendants on the seraglios of Mohammedans of rank. 
They are secluded from all communication with others, and consequently 
from access to courts of justice, and thus have no redress for the injustice 
and cruelty with which they are often treated, amounting frequently to 
mutilatiou and murder. Prsedial slaves, without distinctiou of sex, 
may be classed under three sub-divisions. In some places, the land- 
holders have a claim to the servitude of thousands among the inhabi- 
tants of their estates, reputed to be descended from persons who were 
acknowledged slaves of their ancestors. They are to be considered as 
villains, attached to the glebe. They pay rent and other dues for the 
lands they till, and for the pastures on which they graze their herds ; 
and the chief mark of slavery is a restriction on the right of removing at 
choice. The second sub-division, consists of bond slaves already described, 
by whom throughout some districts the labours of husbandry are chiefly 
executed. The third sub-division eonsists of the slaves of the free 
peasantry, and of the petty and large land-holders. In certain provinces, 
the masters or owners are themselves cultivators, and employ their 
slaves as herdsmen and ploughmen; but in certain other provinces 
particularly in the south of India, it is considered disgraceful for the 
Brahman master or owner to eultivate the ground with his own hands, 
and slave-labour alone is employed. In such provinces, the treatment of 
the slave is harsh, his labour severe, his food and clothing seanty, his 



habitation wretched, and his family connexions liable to be severed 
at the will of his master. He has no access to courts of justice ; and 
he is subject to compulsory and unrequited labour, not only for his 
master, but for the Hindu community, in dragging the idol cars ; for 
the public servants and their establishments ; for marching regiments 
and for travellers ; and for the government of the country in stopping 
any sudden breach of the great works of irrigation, in making or re- 
pairing the high roads, and in carrying treasure-remittances, stolen 
property that has been recovered, and the Company's monopoly tobacco ; 
on all which occasions, he is guarded by armed men to prevent his 
running away. The treatment of this class of the prsedial slaves in 
India is such, that it is believed by competent observers, that they are 
at present the most degraded, stunted, and abject form of humanity to 
be found on the face of the earth. 

4. The Law of Slavery in British India. — Slavery in India is nomi- 
nally and formally founded, in the first place, on the Hindu law ; in the 
second place, on Mohammedan law ; and in the third place, on the 
adoption by the British government of India of both Hindu and 
Mohammedan slave law, with certain modifications. The modifica- 
tions of Mohammedan and Hindu law are all in favour of the slave ; 
for instance, by rendering the murder of a slave even by his own master 
a capital crime ; by abolishing the practice of selling criminals and their 
offspring into slavery ; and by making slaves capable of giving evidence 
in courts of justice ; but these ameliorations of the law are practically 
inoperative, especially in those provinces in the south of India, where 
slavery exists in its most aggravated forms. The most important 
circumstance, however, connected with the law of slavery is, that 
the legalization of slavery has been effected, not by a positive, direct, 
and unequivocal enactment, which must have been submitted for the 
approval or disapproval of parliament, and which would probably have 
received the attention and called forth the opposition of the friends of 
the slave ; but by a doubtful interpretation of the law, the spirit of 
which is supposed to embrace slavery, and the letter of which is 
acknowledged to be wholly silent on the subject. It is by means of 
this confessedly doubtful, and it is believed wholly erroneous, interpre- 
tation, that the entire system of East India slavery has been perpetuated 
under the British government. Even admitting the correctness of this 
disputed interpretation, it is acknowledged by the highest authorities, 



that slavery practically exists of a kind that is wholly illegal There is 
uo principle more fixed and certain in Mohammedan law than this, 
that infidels made captive in war, and they only, with their descendants, 
can be held as slaves. But in . Mohammedan families throughout 
India, there are thousands and tens of thousands of slaves who 
cannot be classed under this description ; and who are consequently, 
held in hopeless, though unauthorized and illegal, bondage. Practically, 
slavery in India does not rest on law but custom, for it can be proved 
to be illegal, and this illegal custom has been invested by the British 
government in India, with the desecrated forms and sanctions of law 
and justice. 

5. Administration of Slave Law in British India—This is illus- 
trated by cases detailed in the law books, published by the judicial 
servants of the East India Company in explanation of Hindu and 
Mohammedan law as administered in British courts of justice. Only 
two cases will here be quoted, and of these the first is thus described.— 
" A female slave, having been emancipated from servitude, suffered much 
for the want of .the necessaries of life, and sold herself with her two 
daughters, one of them five and the other seven years of age, with her late 
master's consent. In this case is the sale of daughters of such years avail- 
able in law or not ? Have the daughters an option, on attaining the age of 
maturity, to set aside the sale of their persons V Such was the question 
tried in a British Indian court of justice, and put by a British judge 
to the Hindu law officers, whom the law obliges him to consult. This 
case occurred in 1819, in the district of Chittagong, one of the districts 
of Bengal. The decision in this case was, that the children of an 
emancipated slave-mother, sold as slaves by their mother with her late 
master's sanction, are not entitled to their freedom on coming of age, 
and have no power to nullify the contract. What a picture of society 
and of law does this exhibit ! What a depth of physical wretchedness 
or of moral obtuseness, or of both ! A mother emancipated from slavery 
again selling herself for the necessaries of life ; receiving the gift of her 
own daughters from her former master to be in like manner sold for the 
relief of her wants— sold at the age of five and seven by their own 
mother into perpetual slavery, perhaps to vice and infamy ; and the 
perpetuity of the sale under such circumstances, when called in question 
by the daughters after the attainment of mature age, affirmed by Hindu 
law, and confirmed by the authority of a British court of justice. The 



seeond case will probably be deemed still more flagrant. It is thus 
described.— "A person procures a contract of marriage to be entered 
into between bis slave and the daughter of a free person, and subsequently 
sells his slave's wife to another. In this case, had the master of the 
slave derived any right of proprietorship over the person of the slave's 
wife by reason of her being subject to his slave, and is the sale of such 
woman allowable by law ?" This case also occurred in 1819, in Chit- 
tagong; and the decision, according to Hindu law, was, that a free 
woman becoming the wife of a slave, becomes a slave to her husband's 
master who has full power to alienate her by sale, and the sale is good 
and valid. This is another of those cases which, without the evidence 
of the law books from which it is taken, we should find it diffieult 
to believe that the authority of the British government would be 
employed to enforce. A free womau, ignorant, most probably, of the 
law which affects such eases, is inveigled into marriage with a slave 
by a slave's master, who subsequently sells her for his own profit, and 
this sale is pronounced good and valid by the organ of Hindu law, and 
reeognized as such by the British government in India and its judicial 
offieers. 

6. Ameliorations of the Law andPractice of Slavery in British India. 
—The first and most important of these, is a modification of the 
Mohammedan law of slavery. Under the Mohammedan law, the 
murderer of a slave is permitted to reeeive a free pardon from the 
slave's master, or to compound by a pecuniary penalty for the life of 
the slave that has been murdered ; but it has been expressly enacted 
by the British government, that the murderer of a slave, even if the 
master himself, must suffer the eapital consequences of his act. The 
sale of eriminals into slavery has been discontinued ; the prohibition 
of the emaseulation of young slaves is stated to be enforced ; and the 
power of emancipation, denied to the ruling power by the Moham- 
medan law, has been assumed and exercised in eases of cruel treatment. 
The evidenee of slaves in courts of justice has been made admissible, 
and the sale of slaves by government [officers on account of arrears of 
revenue due by their masters to the government, has been prohibited in 
Malabar. But it is to be remarked, that these ameliorations are to be 
found chiefly in the letter of the law, and illustrate rather the wishes of 
the administrators than the actual practice of slavery ; for notwith- 
standing these regulations, the best evidence shows thai; cases of slave 



■ 



murder unpunished are frequent; that female domestic slaves and 
prsedial slaves, both male and female, have no access to courts of justice ; 
— and that the number of eunuch slaves throughout the country 

7. Ameliorations of the Law and Practice of Slavery in British. 
India recommended but not adopted. — One important recommendation 
has been to adopt the Mohammedan law of slavery exclusively, which 
would in effect amount to a total abrogation of slavery, for such a rule 
would annul Hiudu slavery by recognizing Mohammedan slavery 
alone; while Mohammedan slavery, aceording to the strict letter of 
the law, does not now exist. Another recommendation has been the 
prohibition of the sale of children by their parents or others, that 
being the chief source of existing slavery. A registry of slaves has 
been suggested by the Indian governmeut itself, but it has allowed its 
own suggestion, as well as the preceding recommendations to fall to the 
ground. It has been recommended also with a particular reference to 
the prsedial slaves of the Madras territories, by express enactment, to 
restrain their owners from selling them out of the country of their 
birth, and from separating members of the same family, and to render 
it compulsory on them to make a suitable provision in food, clothes, 
and habitation for their slaves ; but no such regulations have been 
enacted, nor any to protect the slaves from compulsory labour for 
government and the community. It has been further proposed to 
declare the purchase of free children as slaves illegal, to declare the 
children of all slaves born after a certain date free ; to declare voluntary 
contracts to labour obligatory only on the individual, not on his wife 
and children; to mate slaves competent to possess and dispose of 
property; to subject to special penalties the purchase of ^children to 
be brought up as prostitutes ; to transfer the power of corporal punish- 
ment from the masters of slaves to the local civil officers ; to give slaves 
the power of purchasing their liberty ; to free all slaves attached to 
lands or estates escheatiug to government ; and to give slaves when ill- ' 
treated the right to claim to be sold to another master ; all which 

EECOMMENDATIONS HAVE BEEN WHOLLY NEGLECTED. 

8. The only effectual remedy for the evils of slavery, is the imme- 
diate abolition op slavehy. This has been recommended by men of 
extensive experience and observation in India, but its highest recom- 
mendation is its conformity to sound policy, to equal justice, and to an 



84 

enlightened humanity. It wonld be safe for the government, for all 
experience shows that danger to the government has arisen only from 
innovations introduced for the increase of revenue, while no danger ean 
be shown to have ever arisen from innovations, such as this would be, 
plainly tending to, and designed for, the welfare of the people. It is 
demanded by law as well as by justice, for much of the slavery that 
exists is confessedly illegal, and what is legal, if there is any such, is 
unjust ; and its extinction will be supported by the moral sense of the 
whole European and native communities. It is dictated by an en- 
lightened humanity; for free and unshackled industry, a state of things 
in which every man shall enjoy the fruits of his own labour, is at the 
foundation of every measure which can be suggested or devised for 
the elevation and improvement of the people of India, and such a state 
of things can never exist where slavery is found. 

THE SLAVE-TRADE IN AND WITH BRITISH INDIA. 

The slave-trade in and with British India is either internal or 
external, that is, carried on either by land or by sea. The internal 
trade is earried on either in the British territories, or to and from the 
surrounding and contiguous countries under native governments. The 
external trade is earried on either by importation or exportation. 

1. Internal Trade in the British Territories. — This trade consists in 
the sale of children by their parents ; in the sale of persons by them- 
selves; in the voluntary subjection of persons with their families 
nominally to temporary, really to perpetual, slavery for debt; in the 
sale of slaves by their masters to pay the arrears of revenue due to 
government ; and in the sale of slaves by the officers of the govern- 
ment to satisfy the judicial decrees. Independent of the general demo- 
ralizing effect of slavery and the slave-trade, the sale of children by 
their parents is often made expressly for the purpose of vice and pros- 
titution ; and the sale of slaves for revenue arrears and in satisfaction 
of judicial decrees, separates parents from their children, husbands from 
wives, brothers from sisters, and breaks up all the relations of life. 
These sales of slaves, and of free persons into slavery, are legal under the 
British government in India, provided the persons to be sold are not to 
be removed from one place to another for purposes of traffic ; i. e. they 
may be bought and sold at the places where the parents or masters are 



mmmmm 



found to be, but they cannot be removed by their pareuts or masters 
for the purpose of being sold ; although being sold, they may of course 
be removed by their new masters. The extent of this traffie in slaves, 
particularly by the sale and purchase of children in times of famine, is 
believed to be very considerable. 

2. Internal Trade to and from the surrounding and contiguous 
countries under native governments.— -This trade is illegal and clan- 
destine, but there are grounds for believing that it has not wholly 
ceased. In 1811 and 1812, a traffic in slaves from Cochin and Travan- 
core to Malabar, was detected, and a competent authority pronounced 
that it was only by increasing vigilance that its renewal could be 
prevented. In 1821, the importation of slaves from foreign states into 
the southern Mahratta country, conquered by the British, was pro- 
hibited, but the prohibition was declared by a high official authority to 
have increased the price without putting a stop to the traffic. A high 
authority also stated in 1828, that slaves continued to be imported 
from Cachar, Gentiah, and other territories beyond the limits of the 
British jurisdiction, into Silhet, one of the eastern districts of Bengal. 
In 1834 and 1835, repeated cases brought before the judicial tribunals 
have occurred of slaves imported into the Bombay territory, from 
Nagpore, Malwa, and Mewar. Until slavery itself is abolished the 
trade will continue. 

3. Eocternal Import Trade in Slaves. — There exists in India com- 
paratively a small but in itself a considerable, number of slaves of 
African and Arab birth and deseent. They are found as eunuch-slaves 
in wealthy Mohammedan families throughout the whole of India, and 
in greatest number in all the principal towns throughout Malabar and 
Canara. They have been and are imported either by Arabs or Portu- 
guese; by Arabs as personal attendants of their masters, or as sailors 
employed in navigating the Arab Mopilla or Lubbee vessels, and by 
Portuguese to be sold at Goa, Damann, and Diu, to supply the demand 
for slaves in Portuguese families at those places, and the remainder to 
be distributed over the north-western coasts of India, and smuggled 
into the British territories adjoining the Portuguese settlements. In 
1824, it was publicly alleged that 150 eunuchs had been landed from 
the Arab ships that had arrived at Calcutta that season ; and in 1826, 
it is known that three slave-girls were imported. This slave-trade is 
of course illegal, but adequate means are not employed to enforee the law. 



4. External Export Trade in Slaves. — At one period, from the 
middle to the elose of the last century, this traffic was very actively 
carried on, and it had largely increased under the British government, "" 
and was prosecuted hy the French and Dutch. About the close of the 
century it was prohibited and* suppressed, when it assumed the 
form of a system of kidnapping, which it retained until the trade 
in Hill Coolies arose, which is merely another form of the same traffic. 
That trade has been prohibited, and it is now sought to legalize it, in 
which case the system of kidnapping and selling into slavery, which 
has been in constant activity in India, will receive a fresh impulse and 
encouragement, and the trade in the persons of the natives of India 
will be earried on with renewed vigour. 

The Chairman observed, that the document to which they had listened, 
was rendered more interesting by the fact, that the Professor had himself 
resided many years in British India. 

Professor ADAM— I wish to suggest two or three remarks on the general 
hearing of the subject. The English have visited India ; the English have 
taken possession of India— by what means I will not now say— but they have 
taken possession ; and they have subjected to themselves a vast amount of the 
population of India. And what is the condition of that population % As to 
religion, their state is the most degrading ; as it regards their general condition, 
we see from the document which has been read, upon the truth of which 
you may depend, that they are also in a state of deep degradation. The 
English found the population in that condition. But was it to be expected 
that the English government, of all the nations in the world would 
have legalized the two systems of slavery which they found in existence ? 
Was it to be expected that Hindu slavery, which had ceased legally to 
exist under the Mohammedan government, should have been again called 
into existence, have been reduced to form, have been legalized by the 
British government ? Was this to be expected from our countrymen— from 
those who had carried their conquests, who had conveyed their science, their 
religion, to India % Surely such a course was not to be expected ; and other 
countries, and after ages, will, at least, declare that it was highly incon- 
sistent, especially considering their loud boasts of freedom. But not only did 
the British government legalize Hindu slavery, they have also retained iu 
chains those whom they found in chains, imposed upon them by successive 
couquerors ! Does it not become us who are now assembled from all parts 
of the world, to declare our belief that such a system should no longer be 
tolerated % Is it not true that we, as a Christian, slavery-hating people, should 
oxprnwi our determination that such a system shall no longer exist ; a system 
of slavery established by Hindus and Mohammedans 2 Surely you will do 
so. You will cause your voice to be heard ; and it will be heard, it will go 
forth not only to the ends of this island, but to the very ends of the earth; and 
the results will be, that we shall no longer be disgraced by the system. Nor 



87 

is this all. The British government is already pledged to do this ; it has been 
so pledged for several years, but it has not redeemed its pledge. In the act of 
1833, it was determined that slavery in India should be abolished ; it was also 
provided that inquiry should be made as to the real condition of the slaves, 
and that such measures should be adopted as would lead to the extinction of 
slavery. The East India Company was desired to send home from time to 
time such laws and regulations as would lead to the abolition of slavery. The 
directions and provisions contained in the act of 1833, have hitherto proved 
a dead letter. Nothing has been done to mitigate the condition of the slaves, 
or to lead to the extinction of slavery. You have, therefore, strong, clear, 
defined ground upon which to proceed ; and I earnestly hope that you will 
proceed, notwithstanding the obstacles which may be presented in your course. 

Mr. ALEXANDEB. — I have been informed, on authority upon which 
I can rely, that an act was passed some years since in the House of 
Commons, which, had it been acted upon, would have caused slavery long ago 
to have ceased to exist in the East Indies ; but that on its being carried up 
to the House of Lords, a clause was struck out, at the suggestion of the Ddke 
of "Wellington, which rendered the bill comparatively null and void, so far 
as slavery was concerned. That omission, it seems, was not noticed by T. P. 
Buxton, and hence he made no attempt to supply the deficiency. Perhaps 
some Mend present could confirm that statement. 

JOSEPH PEASE, Esq., (of Darlington).— I believe that such a clause was 
omitted in the way just stated. That slavery exists in British India, and that 
it exists to a considerable extent, and under very painful circumstances, there 
can be no doubt whatever. "We have abundant evidence to prove that fact. 
But what is the remedy? "We have long talked of the evil, but what have we 
done to remove it % And why have we not accomplished all we wished ? One 
plain reason may be assigned, namely, that the government of this country has 
profited by the continuance of the system. Something more must be done. 
Daniel O'Conneli. is abont to bring forward a motion in reference to slavery 
in British India. It is a fact that one-third of the land in British India is in 
the possession of wild beasts ; a portion of which, if cultivated, would yield a 
sufficient quantity of food for the supply of the people's wants. The Governor- 
General of India has admitted this fact. Sufficient evidence upon the subject 
was taken in the committee of the House of Commons ; it was proved that 
the land-tax was most oppressive, leading to want and starvation, and com- 
pelling millions to become slaves for a long series of years. I have stated 
these things before the Directors of the East India Company, and now hope 
that the statements made will go forth to the country, and that abun- 
dance of petitions will be sent in to Parliament, praying that one-third of 
the land, which is now in the possession of wild beasts, may be brought into 
cultivation, that the wants of the human population may meet an adequate . 
supply. 

Eev. J. H. JOHNSON.— I have been much struck with the accounts 
which I have recently heard as to East Indian Slavery. I am anxious that the 
whole qnestion should be brought fairly before us, that we may furnish our 
constituents with the true state of the case when we return home. In order to 
promote the abolition of slavery, I have been in the habit of inducing persons 
to abstain from the use of all articles which are produced by the labour of 
slaves. Such adviee was very galling to those who were concerned in up- 
holding slavery ; and [ have reason to believe that it told much upon the 



system. I took no sugar at all myself ; but to those of my frieuds who took it, 
I recommeuded the practice of taking only sugar which came from the East 
Indies, because I thought that the East India sugar was the produce of the 
labour of freemen. Now, if it should go forth to the world, that the larger 
portion of the labourers in the East Indies are under slavery, would not I, and 
those who acted as I did, appear as traducers ? Was the sugar which was 
said to be the produce of free labour, really so ? or was it the product of slave- 
labour ? I hope that some gentleman present will be able to explain that 

Mr. G. THOMPSON.— I believe it will be found upon inquiry, that the 
sugar in question was not the result of slave-labour. If the sugar really came 
from Bengal, it was not the produce of forced labour. 

Professor ADAM. — As far as my observation has extended, the sugar sent 
from the East Indies to this country, is produced chiefly in Bengal and by free 
labourers. The principal portion of pi-Eedial and agrestic slavery iu India, is in 
the southern part of that Country. 

Captain STUART. — All my experience, and the evidence which I have 
obtained, goes to prove the correctness of the statements made by Professor 
Adam, and by George Thompson. The evidence which was given before 
the Houses of Lords and Commons was complete to me, as proving that the 
sugar sent to this country from the East Iudies, is not sugar obtained by 
agrestic slavery, but by free labour. 

JOSEPH EATON, Esq., (of. Bristol).— There is a publication which may 
easily be obtained, a letter addressed by W. Whitmore to our late 
esteemed friend Zachary Macauley, from which it will appear, that the 
sugar sent from India to this country is the produce of free labour. 

R. R. R. MOORE, Esq., (of Dublin).— In refereuce to what has fallen from 
Mr. Alexander, I will read an extract from a work recently published by the 
Rev. Mr. Peggs, formerly a missionary in India. He says, " On the renewal of 
the East India charter, in 1833, it was proposed by the King's ministers to abolish 
slavery in British India, on or before April 12th, 1837; but this was over-ruled 
in the Honse of Lords ; on which occasion the Duke of Wellington said, ' I 
insist upon it, that there exists no necessity for framing any laws or regulations 
with regard to slavery in the East Indies. I have served in that country, and 
lived among the people, and I never knew an instance of cruelty being prac- 
tised towards the slaves, if slaves they ought to be called.' I will not make 
any comment upon that. We do not ground our efforts for the abolition of 
slavery upon the fact of their being treated cruelly or kindly ; we believe that 
slavery ought not to exist. But instead of this clause for the total abolition 
of slavery in the East Indies there was substituted the following :— < Be it 
further enacted, that the said Governor-General in Council shall, and he is 
hereby required forthwith to take into consideration the means of mitigating 
the state of slavery, and of ameliorating the condition of slaves, aud of 
extinguishing slavery throughout the said territories so soon as sueh extinc- 
tion shall be practicable and safe ; and from time to time to prepare and 
transmit to the said Court of Directors drafts of laws and regulations for the 
purposes aforesaid.' " Professor Adam has given us much light on this subject ; 
he has settled the question for ns, and shewn that the Duke of Wellington 
was utterly and entirely wrong. He has proved that this recommendation to 
the Governor-General has not produced any beueficial effect, that the Governor 
has not advanced oue step towards the abolition of slavery. I have always 



thought, and I believe that slavery in British India furnishes us with a proof, 
that gradual measures fordoing away with the evil, by giving us an idea that 
the evil is being removed, only rivet the fetters mare strongly on the slave. I 
have now to move, — 

That a committee consisting of the following gentlemen he ap- 
pointed to take into consideration the paper now read by Professor 
Adam, and report to the Convention a resolution or resolutions founded 
thereon; Professor Adam, Captain Stuart, Joseph Eaton, J. T. 
Price, R. R. R. Moore, George Thompson, John Scoble, Joseph 
Pease, and John Cropper. 

I am sure that we all see and feel the importanee of the subject. I have no 
doubt that we shall set to work with all the energy whieh we displayed in 
refcrenee to the abolition of slavery in the "West, and that we shall not desist 
until not a slave remains in the East. 

Mr. G. THOMPSON.— I beg to second the resolution. The debate takes 
me rather by surprise. It is a snbjeet of peculiar interest, and if the 
matter be submitted to a eommittee, I should like to reserve what I have to 
say until the report is brought up. It is a topie on whieh we possess less in- 
formation than on many other points eonnected with the business of the Con- 
vention. 

RICHARD PEEK, Esq.— Allow me to state a eonversation which took 
plaee on my journey to town, when I met with a gentleman who had been in the 
East India Company's serviee thirty-four years. Being ignorant of the nature 
of slavery in the East Indies, I inquired whether it really existed there ? He 
admitted that it did, and that to a considerable extent. Further eonversation 
ensued, in whieh he referred to Mr. George Thompson— stated that he had 
read his leetures, and that 1 there were maYiy things in them whieh were not 
correet. He instanced the assertion, that they were taking no steps to abolish 
slavery. He met it by stating, that a committee had been sitting for the last 
two or three years, that they would, perhaps, take a few years longer ; and 
when they had suffieient information before them, a plan for the gradual abo- 
lition of slavery would be introdueed. He also stated that one great source of 
slavery in the East Indies was, parents selling their own children ; and that, 
during the last famine, whieh oeeurred two years ago, thousands ofehildren 
were sold to preserve them from starvation. The parents were plaeed in this 
predieament, the ehildren must either be starved or sold for slaves ; and 
many, he said, aeting from motives of humanity, purehased them. In one of 
the districts, the Governor prohibited parents from selling their ehildren, and 
thousands of lives were sacrifieed : they were starved to death. That might 
have been obviated, if their parents had been allowed to sell them for slaves. 
That is a state of things whieh ought not to exist, and I think that the eom- 
mittee would do well to inquire into it. 

Rev. N. COLVER.— I hope that when the eommittee take this subject 
into eonsidcration, they will not limit their thoughts to the simple existenee 
of slavery, as resulting from the various eauses stated by Professor Adam ; 
but that they will expressly turn their attention to that grinding oppression of 
the inhabitants of India, which compels them tp sell their ehildren in order to 
preserve them from starvation. 



90 

JOSEPH SAMS, Esq., (of Darliugton).— I have been much interested by the 
appointment of this committee. I consider that it maybe productive of very 
great service iu reference to the objects of the Convention. I do hope, as our 
worthy friend has just remarked, that the committee will not confine them- 
selves simply to the report made by Professor Adam, but that they will turn 
their attention minutely to the state of British India. I could also wish that 
attention should be given to the subject of free labour, abundantly persuaded 
as I am, that if this were properly attended to, and we as a nation, were to 
use only free labour produce, it would be one of the severest blows which could 
possibly be given to slavery. Our fellow-subjects, the natives of British India 
are exceedingly oppressed ; and I think measures might be adopted by the 
Convention, which, while they went even to destroy slavery, would tend very 
materially to their benefit. 

Mr. R. R. R. MOORE.— The committee are confined to the evidence on 
Professor Adam's paper, and resolutions founded on it. Free labour will come 
in under another head. "We shall gain nothing by mixing up the subjects. 

Mr. G. Thompson concurred in the views of Mr. Moore. 

The resolution was then put and agreed to unanimously. 

The Rev. W. Bevan read the following paper 

ON THE MORAL INFLUENCE OF SLAVERY. 

The suecess of unrighteous sehemes opens abundant sourees of moral 
injury. They contain within themselves the elements of re-active 
retribution. The perpetrator and the vietim of injustice alike suffer. 
Such are the results of the system of slavery ; results which find their 
orioin in no contingent or occasional circumstances, but which arise 
from the essential and invariable principles on which the system is 
based. 

I. The man-stealer, the man-seller, the man-buyer, rests under the 

malediction of Jehovah. He breathes a polluted air. He struggles 
against an ever-present invisible agency, which his own sin has called 
into being. The curse is in the field ; — the labour he exacts is less 
productive, the capital he invests is less sceure, than that which stands 
free from the prohibited traffic. The curse is on his soul;— a blight 
settles on his personal character, his social affections, his domestic eircle, 
his religious fellowship. 

1. The tendency of the system is opposed to that sense of justice, 
the preservation of which is the safeguard of individual integrity and 
social order. Before enslaving men, it denies to them the attributes of 
humanity. It permits not their claim to intellectual and moral qualities. 
It eonverts their unintelligent physieal powers into mere machines. It 



91 

docs violenec to the responsible relation of men to God, and invades his 
prerogative, by prohibiting the exercise of the will in an accountable 
agent. Its arbitrary power reduces the equal to the condition of an 
abject inferior. It ordains the sole supremacy of the enslaver, with 
which no other will may interfere. It leaves his selfish passion uncon- 
trolled. It destroys all sense of reciprocal obligation, 
victim of the rights of man, for it removes him from the 
rank of man. It proclaims that he can suffer no wrong, for he can 
possess no right. 

The demand of exorbitant labour permits no equitable return. The 
labourer is not worthy of his hire. The master commands the sole 
advantage, the slave can have none, from his ceaseless toil. The stimu- 
lant of coercive violence is substituted for that of personal interest and 
lawful wages. When tasked beyond his strength, when exhausted and 
dispirited, the slave finds no vestige of a sense of justice to which he 
can appeal. 

Hence, also, that recklessness of human life, by which the system has 
ever been disgraeed. It is unchecked by considerations of humanity or 
equity, and is eounteracted only by mercenary calculations. The short- 
ening or lengthening of slave life, is in proportion to the severity or 
leniency with which the system is worked. This is regulated by 
nicely adjusted estimates of the profit which, in cither alternative, is 
likely to be realized. The slave is the helpless engine by which that 
profit is to be secured. He ean appeal to none. He has no right to 
his own life. 

The first step, then, in the progress of the system, tends to the de- 
struction of the sense of justiee. None can become implicated in it, 
without receiving the taint. None ean pursue it, without that moral 
injury to themselves which ever results from the oft repeated violation of 
human rights, and of the principles of divine equity. 

2. Moreover, the system of slavery sets at defiance the sympathies 
of humanity. The position in which the slave is placed, removes him 
from the exercise of those affections that constitute the beauty and 
glory of human nature, and that mitigate the ills to which flesh is heir. 
He is refused the plaec — he is robbed of the properties of a man. 
Intellectual and spiritual excellence is denied him, He is declared to 
possess nothing that can harmonize with benevolent emotions or sancti- 
fying graces. As though the power of love could find no entranee into 



liis breast, lie is abandoned to that of coercion and terror. The bonds 
of the great brotherhood of the family of earth are snapt asunder. 
The spirit of tyranny rises to the throne, and banishes "peace and 
good-will." It gathers strength from exercise, and increases its appetite 
with increase of prey. Tenderness of spirit gives way to ferocity. 
Humanity shudders at the transformation. 

The helpless infant is left to pine and perish ; or only reared that it 
may be torn away, as a thing of merchandize, from its mother's breast. 
The modesty and innocence of woman are no defence ; but are recklessly 
outraged, as a valueless possession to the slave. The most sacred bonds 
of family and connubial relation and happiness are annihilated, to gra- 
tify the lust of the impure. With the fruits of infamy, the markets of 
human flesh are glutted. The wages of unrighteousness arc gathered 
from lawless and licentious passion. 

The virgin in her chastity, — the mother in her agony, — the weak in 
their debility, — the aged in their decrepitude, — the dying in their extre- 
mity, find the door of the heart barred against them. Despoiled of 
their title to humanity, they must endure unpitied the vengeance they 
have not deserved. 

To yield to the moral influence of this system is to defile the source 
of purity, to freeze up the fountains of benevolence. 

3. Nor is the system less antagonist to the sacred influences and 
claims of religion. It repudiates the second table of the ancient law, 
which is comprehended in these words ; — " Thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bour as thyself." It provides an agency for the violation of the law of 
Christ ; " All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do 
ye even so to them." It stands in direct opposition to the great end of 
the moral government of God, and that universal love which He sent 
his Son to teach, and which He gives his Holy Spirit to promote. 

Like the pestilence walking in darkness, it stealthily, but effec- 
tually, diffuses its poison through the entire constitution of society. 
It fosters impurity and violence. It endangers personal security 
and social order. The ferocity of slave-holders to each other, the 
unchasteness of mind and conversation, from which their wives and 
daughters arc not free, the daring and indiscriminating attacks 
on life, which, while they issue fatally, are tolerated in silence, 
present a picture of appalling colours. The Right Rev. B. B. Smith, 
bishop of the episcopal diocese of Kentucky, in allusion to this fierce 



and dangerous spirit, says, " Tho victims are not by any Means the 
most worthless of our population. It too often happens that the en- 
lightened citizen, the elevated lawyer, the affectionate husband, and 
precious father, are thus instantaneously taken from their useful stations 
on earth, and hurried, unprepared, to their final account. * * * * . 
"What can have brought about and perpetuated this shocking state of 
things?" The bishop subsequently refers to a prevailing cause, as ex- 
isting in the system of slavery : " Arc not some of the indirect influences 
of a system, the existence of which amongst us can never be sufficiently 
deplored, discoverable in these affrays ? Are not our young men more 
heady, violent, and imperious, in consequence of their early habits of 
command ? Are not our taverns and other public places of resort much 
more erowded with an inflammable material, than if young men were 
brought up in the staid and frugal habits of those who are constrained 
to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow ?" 

4. The baneful influence of the system is exerted upon the characters 
of professing Christians, as well as upon those who fear not God. It 
can only be adopted at the expense of the fundamental principles of the 
Gospel. It is as the letting out of water, swelling into a torrent, and 
bearing away every barrier, till it overspreads and defiles every heart 
with its turbulent and polluted tide. Christian professors become its 
apologists; they drink into its spirit; they fall into its snares; they 
partake of its sins. That power of delusion must be gigantic which stifles 
within their breasts eonvictions of solemn and imperative duty, and 
which blinds them to the mischiefs and injustice they perpetrate. That 
mystery of iniquity must be fearful which allures to its defence, the 
ministers of peace and mercy; while it stops their lips from remon- 
strating with the guilty, and puts into their hands the weapons of the 

The toleration of slavery in connexion with the church is a daring 
and flagrant insult to the Prince of Peace, who is ordained to "break 
every yoke." Its practice by professing Christians is a deliberate con- ' 
travention of the design of His truth, which maketh " free indeed." 

II.— The moral influence of the system on the character of the slave is 
injurious to the last degree. 

1. It denies him the nature and the rights of man, without possessing 
the power so to embrutc him, as to destroy the consciousness that he is 
a man. Hence, he more sensitively feels his degradation. It prostrates 



94 
Mm in tlie dust, and forbids liim to rise. He finds that lie lias no 
power to ameliorate liis condition, that no effort can rescue hirn from 
his squalid wretchedness and subjection. In the midst of ceaseless 
struggles for human liberties he can take no share. Every right of 
a citizen and a free agent is unconditionally, and perpetually torn from 
him. The quickness of his perception, the indestruetibility of his 
consciousness of right, render him the more reckless, till, abandoning 
himself to despair, and becoming as wicked as he has been made abject, 
he outrages, in himself, the dignity of his noble nature. 

2. The system of slavery cramps all that is expansive in the intellect, 
and generous in the heart. It removes all incentive to improvement. It 
denies the slave the right to amend even his physical condition, as it 
prevents his possession of property. It prohibits the culture of mind, 
and to the utmost of its power, the exercise of independent thought. It 
dooms him to mental bondage and darkness, and declares the penalty of 
the law against his instructor. He feels that he has powers that he 
must not employ— resources that he must not use— a principle within 
him that he must not develope. He sinks under the pressure of the 
system, until it makes him as ignoble as it declares him to be. 

3. In a condition so dark and oppressive, shut out from the know- 
ledge of rectitude and the protection of law, the sense of moral right is 
destroyed within the slave. Without law, he becomes lawless. 
Plundered of his right of property in himself, he apprehends no wrong- 
in plundering a portion of his master's accidental property around him. 
Reared in the midst of deception and fraud, he knows neither the 
sanctions of truth, nor the iniquity of a lie. Taxed in his toil, stinted 
in his food, defrauded of his hire, he perceives no dishonesty in with- 
holding his labour, and, by stealth,- supplying the eravings of nature. 
There is no sense of justice to impel him to his work. He is moved 
only by fear, which hath torment. The cruelties he endures goad him 
to desperation. The turbulence to which he is driven finds no restraint 
in any conviction of moral obligation ; for this he is not taught to regard. 

4. Hence it reduees him to the dominion of restless, unrestrained, 
unguided passion. His mind is uninstructcd, his conscience scared, his 
judgment prostrated, his emotions perverted. He wants but the 
opportunity to gratify that which can only be repressed by force. He 
knows of nothing wrong in giving way to the lower appetites, when 
that restraint is removed. He has no higher ambition. The patterns 



95 

of lust, with which he is familiar, in his educated and polite superiors, 
he is not slow to imitate. Opportunities, incentives, and provocatives 
are ever at hand. The honour of man, the delicacy of woman, alike 
yield to brutal sensuality. Their promiscuous lodging, their defective 
clothing, the denial of marriage, destroy every feeling of propriety. In 
the race of mixed colour they see a living apology for their passion. The 
licentiousness of the master excuses and fosters the licentiousness of 
the slave. The only true corrective is withheld, because it is the charter 
of his liberties. The truth that sanctifies, he is not permitted to read, 
because " the truth maketh free." 

The slave feels that his labour is a degradation. On this account 
the white population despise it. The terms by which he and his 
toil are designated are terms of indignity. His familiarity with them 
augments the bitterness of his sufferings, destroys his self-respect, exas- 
perates him to madness, or sinks him into stubborn indifference. 

5. The system of slavery robs him of the proper benefit of religion. 
He is not to receive its full proclamation ; it announces liberty to the 
captives. He is not to feel its motives ; it destroys slavish fear, and 
implants the constraining influence of love. He is not to breathe its 
spirit ; it is the spirit of glorious liberty to the children of God. He is 
not to learn its fundamental law ; it is the law of moral and spiritual 
equality, of universal and reciprocal charity. This anti-christian system 
deprives him of the peace, the hope, and the joy, of which godliness hath 
the promise in this life. It suffers him not to read the wonderful truths 
of God. It refuses the key of knowledge. It presents him with a 
mutilated gospel, a defective religion. In him, therefore, it does 
violence to God's means of grace, weakeus the energy of the spiritual 
life, stunts the growth of the immortal nature, and impairs the beauty 
of the Divine image in his soul. 

in. — A system so founded in injustice, so reared in irreligion, so con- 
summated in enormity, opposes a fearful barrier to the progress of 
civilization, education, and Christianity. In every operation on the 
character of the enslaver and the enslaved, it accelerates the downward 
movement of depravity and misery. 

The Christian church is brought to the conviction, that only in the 
diffusion of the blessings of education and religion, will true 
civilization advance, and these are withheld. To retain the slave 
as a chattel, a mere animated machine, the intelligent principle 



90 

■within him must be crippled and fettered. It can never be des- 
troyed. Hence, the restrictions on means of instruction, and the 
penal sanctions by which they are enforced. Above all, the spirit of 
Christianity is restrained. Slavery decrees that the word of the Lord 
shall not have free coarse. The two cannot walk through the land 
together, for they are not agreed. If the gospel be triumphant, slavery 
must fall. That slavery may continue in despotic might, the truth of 
God must he hound. They are diametrically and unalterably opposed. 
Slavery consorts with the demon of pollution ; the gospel breathes the 
spirit of purity. Slavery seeks an asylum in the thick darkness ; the 
gospel is the emanation of pure and heavenly light. Slavery denies to 
man the prerogatives of reason and conscience ; the gospel illuminates 
his mind, purifies the conscience, and sets it free. Slavery debases and 
curses his being ; the gospel ennobles and blesses him with a renewed 
and celestial nature. Slavery plunges him into unmitigated distress 
and despair; the gospel elevates him to joy and hope. Slavery draws 
a veil over the revelation of life and immortality ; the gospel confers the 
free aud glorious title to the life everlasting. 

The outbreakings of the evil genius of the system, have ever been 
characterised by unrelenting animosity to the religion of Jesus. It has 
razed the Christian sanctuary; it has committed to the flames the 
oracles of God, it has satiated its fury with the blood of the saints. 
To gather the broken in heart to the ministry of consolation, is 
rebellion against its majesty : to anuounce the opening of the prison 
to them that arc bound, is to move the wretched captives to sedition: 
to read the messages of sovereign grace, is to utter treason against its 
state. 

The question which the church of Christ has to determine, is, 
whether the gospel shall be hidden, or this monster tyrant be over- 
thrown. To its determination she must proceed. Considerations of 
policy and expediency must be banished from her counsels, when high 
and sacred duty summons her to action. The testimony of her solemn 
assemblies must go forth, the remonstrance of her consecrated ministers 
must be heard abroad. Her silence must be broken : the trumpet of 
battle must be sounded against the abomination, which retains the un- 
civilized in their degradation, in the midst of the enlightened and the 
free; which endangers the peace, the stability, the prosperity, the hap- 
piness of mighty nations ; which resists the progress of the. heralds of 



salvation; which hinders the descent of Divine benediction ; which is 
twice accursed, which curseth in time and in eternity, both him that 
enslaves, and him that is enslaved. 

Mr. W. Morgan read the following letter from Dr. Channing of 
Boston, Massachusetts, addressed to J. G. Birney, Esq. 

Boston, April 26, 1840. 
My Dear Sir.— You request me in your letter to make some 
communication which may be laid before the Anti-Slavery Convention 
at London. I cannot do this for want of sufficiently precise knowledge 
of the state of things at home and abroad. I have projects enough in 
my mind, but objections would probably be started to them, which a 
man conversant with passing events would easily anticipate. I can, 
therefore, prepare no formal document, but I will give my views more 
distinctly on some points; yon can put my letter, if you see fit, into 
the hands of any who may think them worth attention. 

I would reiterate what I said to you of the great importance of the 
Convention. If I mistake not, this is the first instance of the meeting of 
the friends of humanity from different countries, for purely philanthropic 
purposes. I see in it the sign of a new era. I hope it is the opening of 
better times. Good men have long enough left the world to be governed 
by the selfish. Great men, as they are called, have seldom been moved 
by a higher impulse, than a narrow, unjust patriotism. It is time, 
that the principles of universal justice and love should be recognized as 
the lawful sovereigns of the world; that the Christian doctrine of 
human brotherhood should cease to be a theme of declamation, should 
be embodied in conspicuous action. There are men enough of a large 
heart to give an impulse to society, if they could but understand one 
another; not that I should expect much from extensive organizations. 
I want nothing but free communication and sympathy, giving new 
strength and knowledge, and leaving each man free to aet in his own 
way. The Convention, I doubt not, will be a stirring one ; it must bo 
more than stirring. I trust, it will inspire reverenee and confidence, by 
its calm, lofty wisdom. It is hardly worth the while to cross the 
ocean, to bring together men from different countries, merely to give 
utterance to fervent feeling, however generous. At present, we need 
light even more than heat. 
I spoke to you of two points in this part of the world, to which I 



hope the attention of the Convention will be turned. The first is, 
emancipation in Cuba. It is of vast importance, on account of the 
market which that island furnishes for slaves, and the great impulse 
thus given to the slave-trade ; on account of the singular honors and 
cruelties of the sugar culture in Cuba; and on account of the influence 
which would be exerted on our southern states by abolition in that near 
and extensive region. Can any thing be done to hasten this measure ? 
Undoubtedly, the mother eountry would emancipate Cuba immediately, 
if she could'hope in this way to get more revenue ; but would not the 
first result be a diminution of revenue ? If it be true, as we are some- 
times told, that an American interest is gaining strength in Cuba, and 
that the people are looking with growing desire to union with this 
country, then abolition would be the true policy of Spain, as it would 
sever one strong bond of union, and remove an important ground of 
sympathy between the two countries. I trust, that this island will not 
achieve its independence before emancipation, an event to which some 
seem to look ; for, I fear, that if left to itself, it would cling to slavery 
as obstinately as our own slave- states. 

The next great object of attention in this quarter, and far more 
interesting, is Mexico. There is nothing in the condition of Mexico 
to prevent its provinces , from being over-run by this country; 
nothing to prevent slavery from being carried to the Isthmus of Darien. 
The motives which led to the seizure of Texas, as you well know, have 
lost nothing of their force. A country so disorganized and demoralized 
as Mexico, is an easy prey to a powerful neighbour. It has been 
suggested, that our inroads might be checked by colonies of free 
coloured people in the frontier provinces of Mexico. But would our 
slave-holders endure the presence of settlements, which would invite and 
harbour fugitive slaves ; and would furnish, by the example of their 
freedom, perpetual motives to revolt ? The unbounded rage, eupidity 
and alarm of the slave-states would stimulate fierce assaults, iuexcitable 
by the coloured man. I should hope much more from European emi- 
grants, if the climate were more favourable. Can the European 
powers, who have possessions in the Gulf of Mexieo, be brought to 
guarantee the integrity of the Mexican state ? It is hard indeed to 
uphold a state sinking under the weight of its own corruption ; but 
this matter is too solemn to be given up in despair. 

There is one method of acting on slavery, whieh seems to me worthy 



of the consideration of the Convention. I refer to what has often been 
discussed here, abstinence from the products of slave-labour. This, 
could it be extensive, would have great efficacy, and it has some peculiar 
advantages. It is a mode of action within every man's reach, be he 
rich or poor, and of constant recurrence ; it must bring the great 
subject before the individual daily, in almost every purchase he makes, 
at his meals, in selecting his dress, &c. It would be a better bond of 
union than any association, and would require none of the exacting 
processes now in use. Through this abstinence, a man would act on 
slavery himself, immediately, and not through an organized body, in 
which he is of little moment. He would feel, that every day he was 
doing something towards his object. The friends of abolition, united in 
this mode of action through the world, would produce great effect. 
But I am aware that there are great obstacles to its adoption. In this 
country, little can be hoped from it for a considerable time. Slavery, 
you know, has mixed itself up with almost our whole industry. The 
manufactories and carrying trade of the north, in which a vast capital 
is invested, and which are sources of immense profit, owe their being 
very much to the staple of the slave states. You know how largely 
cotton enters into our domestic and foreign commerce. We all wear its 
fabrics, which, by their cheapness, contribute essentially to the comfort 
and decent appearance of the labouring classes. In a thousand other 
ways, exchanges go on between the south and north. Great numbers 
of our mechanics work for the southern market. In truth, it is hardly 
possible to live here without coming in contact with slavery. It is 
also true, that the commercial and manufacturing interests of England, 
by which millions subsist, have at present many and intimate con- 
nexions with slave labour. I see all these difficulties. Nothing can 
be done immediately. But, it may be useful to inquire, if no pre- 
paration can be made for future efficient action. May not this method 
of testifying against the greatest of all infractions of human rights, be 
silently and gradually spread through the Christian world, and would it 
not do much to strengthen the principles of justice and humanity? 

It has sometimes been said, that governments should be solicited to 
exclude slave-products. But Buonaparte's continental system shows 
us the weakness of such expedients. No reliance can be placed on cus- 
tom-houses, &c. Infinite fraud and smuggling would grow out of such 
restrictions. Our dependence must be mainly on moral and religious 



100 
prineiple, on the sense of justiee and the spirit of freedom. I ean 
coneeive of hardly any thing more disastrous, than an attempt on the 
part of the English government to put down slavery here. Sueh 
effort would identify slavery with our national pride, and would rouse, 
I fear, a national spirit for its support. Perhaps, England, in fulfilling 
her duty to India, may render herself less dependent on slave-labour. 
Every motive of poliey and humanity seems to require her to direct her 
energies and influenee, as she never has done, to her vast possessions in 
the East. 

I have no other topics to suggest. Allow me to express my hope, 
that the delegates from this eountry will earry to the Convention, a just, 
kind, and eandid spirit. I expect them to speak the truth of our 
country, of our deplorable insensibility to the wrongs of the slave, and 
our unfaithfulness to the prineiples of freedom. But, I trust, they will 
speak of these things in sorrow, not anger ; that they will rise above all 
the irritations whieh loeal events have awakened. It is natural that 
distanee should strengthen our filial attaehment to our native land ; 
and this sentiment, if joined with universal good-will, not only meets 
indulgence, but honour, from strangers. 

Again I implore for you and your fellow-labourers, the blessing of 
God. May his Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and love, be your strength 
and guide. Perhaps, I hope more from the Convention than ean be 
aeeomplished in this stage of the enterprise; but, in one thing it cannot 
fad, exeept through its own fault. It can and must bind more elosely 
together the friends of the oppressed, and spread more and more through 
the Christian world the solemn, uneonquerable purpose of putting an 
end to slavery. Very sineerely your friend, 

"William E. Cdanning. 



Mr. ALEXANDER on the eall of the Convention, made the following 
statement on the subject of slavery in the Danish West India Colonies :— 

Although, in the autumn of last year, I undertook a voyage to Denmark, the 
facts in my possessiou relative to tke slave-colonies of. that country, are by 
no means extensive. I will, however, before proceeding to state what I 
have learned, just observe, that it appeared to be the duty of the friends of 
the neoro in England, after having done so much, through the Diviue bless- 
ing to & effeet the emancipation of the slaves in our West Indian colonies, to 
attempt to do something, in order to place those degraded aud wretehed bemgs 
who are suffering the same ills under other governments, in the rank of 
freemen. Entertaining these sentimeuts, and having no reason to suppose 



101 

that the subjeet of the abolition of slavery had been mueh eonsidered in 
Denmark, or that any organization for promoting negro emancipation existed 
in that country, I proceeded to Copenhagen, at the time already alluded to, 
and while there, had an opportunity of conferring with several iudividuals 
possessed of information relative to the state of the Danish West India 
colonies. While at Copenhagen, I also met with a small volume, written by 
Sylvester Hoovey, of the United States, which throws some light upon the 
eireumstanees of slavery in St. Croix, the principal island belonging to Den- 
mark, in the West Indies. In this island, during twenty-six years, terminating 
in 1836, the servile population had diminished from 26,000 to 19,000 ; being 
a deerease of 7000 in twenty-six years. This faet alone is of importanee ; 
it confirms the painful truth, not unknown to English abolitionists, that the 
cultivation of sugar by slaves is fearfully destruetive of human existence. In 
the island of St. Thomas, there are about 5000 slaves, and it is a frequent 
resort of slave-traders. The mention of this eireumstance leads me to observe, 
that one of the great evils arising from the existenee of slavery, is the perpetual 
shelter and support which it affords to the traffic in human beings— a traffic 
which has lately called forth the rebuke of many men, who had not distin- 
guished themselves in past time by their zeal in behalf of the negro. In the 
islaud of St. John, the smallest of the Danish West India islands, the slave 
population is about 2000, respecting these I have nothing particular to communi- 
cate. It is said that slavery in the Danish colonies is administered in the 
mildest manner ; but, when one thinks of that fearful loss of human life to 
which referenee has been made, and reflects also on what must be the esseutial 
charaeter of a system of unpaid and eoerced labour, wherever it exists, it must 
be regarded as a most frightful evil in the Danish eolonies. With respeet to 
the state of education, morality, and religion there, I am sorry to say 
they form no exceptiou to that which is found in other countries where 
slavery prevails. All these means of human improvement and happiness, are, 
to a very great extent, neglected ; and this, notwithstanding a circumstanee 
of deep and peculiar interest eonneeted with these islands ; I refer to the 
fact, that more than a century sinee, some missionaries, connected with the 
Moravian Brethren, visited them, for the purpose of preaching the gospel to 
the negroes ; and with the noble determination, that were it neeessary, in 
order to effect this object to become slaves themselves, they would forego 
their own liberty. The mission has eontinued up to the present day, but has 
produeed little fruit, a circumstance owing, doubtless, in no small degree, to 
the deteriorating influence of slavery on the whole population, and the various 
and peculiar obstaeles which it is ever found to offer to the promulgation of 
the gospel. I trust the day is hastening, when this evil shall cease to 
prevent the full influence of the religion of Christ being felt among these 
islands. I will not make auy lengthened remarks on the eireumstanees whieh 
occurred during my stay in Denmark, but may mention one occurrenee. 
In a conversation with the governor of the Danish West India islands, 
who was at that time at Copenhagen, he told me, that when liberty was 
proelaimed in the English West India islands, he felt that it would be 
neeessary to promote the better treatment of their own slaves, in order to 
prevent their eseape. He stated, that he found it more easy than he other- 
wise would have done to persuade the planters to adopt his reeommendations, 
because they felt with him, that if they did not eomply with them, they 
would be unable to retain their slaves, closely situated as the Dauish islands 



102 

are to those of England. However interesting this cireumstauce is, as 
proving that English liberty has procured some benefit for the Danish slaves ; 
yet on the other hand, the danger of their eseaping to the English islands, 
may lead, in some instances, to the adoption of severe measures for its 
prevention. During my residence in Denmark, the first Auti-Slavery Society 
was established in that country. It was formed of a few individuals, but they 
are persons who, from their eharaeter, and the situation in whieh they stand, 
are capable of serving, in no unimportant degree, the eause in which they 
are enlisted. While at Copenhagen, I was informed that eertam measures 
were under the eonsideration of the government for benefiting the con- 
dition of the slave. In eonnexion with these projeeted improvements, it 
had, however, been proposed to those in authority, to guarantee the system 
of slavery for twenty years. It will, therefore, be clearly seen, that it is 
desirable to interest the friends of lrumanity and religion in Denmark m the 
situation of the slave, in order to prevent the perpetuation of an evil which 
is necessarily attended with a large amount of injustice and cruelty. While 
at Copenhagen, I felt it to be my duty to write an address to the late 
King of Denmark. Particular eircumstances prevented me from presenting 
that address in person, but by the kind assistance of one of the members o± 
the committee there, I had an opportunity of plaeing it in the hands of the 
then Princess, and now Queen op Denmark. I am happy to say, that this 
distinguished individual is eminently likely to take a deep interest m negro 
emaneipation. I do not think, that among the Queens op Europe there is one, 
from whose character more may be hoped in favour of this great question of 
humanity. An opportunity also oecurredof conversing withPRiNCE Christian, 
the present King op Denmark. I endeavoured to point out to the Prince, 
the results of abolition in our West Iudia eolonies, which had been incorrectly 
represented to him in very unfavourable colours. Some doeunients were tor- 
warded to this exalted person, illustrative of the conduet of the enfranehised 
population in our eolonies, including the first number in the series relative 
to this subject, published by direetion of the House of Commons. On my 
way to Sweden, very recently, I called on Edward Birch, an Englishman, 
who manifested a lively interest in the question. He kindly offered to invite 
some of his friends to meet me for the purpose of reeeiving information on the 
subject of slavery, should I return by way of Kiel. I trust, that there will be 
persons who will profit by such an opportunity, of which I was not able to 
avail myself. 'I also made a short stay at Elsiuore, where it was gratifying to 
learn that an interest in the abolition of slavery was gaiuing ground in Den- 
mark These are the principal facts which occur to me to meution, connected 
with the subject of slavery in the Danish West India islands. They appear 
additionally iuteresting, as bearing upon that great plan in which the British 
and Foreign Anti-Slavery Soeicty bas embarked, for promoting the uuiversal 
abolition of slavery. Whether slavery exists in any particular eountry, to a 
greater or less extent, we feel it our duty to lend our assistanee to the friends 
of humanity and religion, iu advancing this great work. There is one circum- 
stance whieh makes the abolition of slavery in Denmark more hopeful than 
in any other eountry, viz., that it was the first European uation that abolished 
the slave-trade. 

Mr. TURNBULL.— I have little to add to that whieh has been advaneed 
by Mr. Alexander. But as I have visited the three Danish islands within 
the last eighteen months, I may as well state what, in my opinion, is the 



103 

charaeter of that mild 'slavery in whieh Mr. Alexander does not believe, 
although it is so eonsidered in Denmark. I have eompared it with what I 
have seen in the United States, in the Spanish, and in the English islands, 
and I believe that it is worse than in the United States. Our American 
friends will, however, be able to form some idea of what that is. But I 
believe it to be the mildest slavery in the islands of the West Indies. I con- 
sider the slavery in the United States, bad as it is, really the least bad of all 
the systems now in operation. I should be sorry to eall it the best— I eall it 
the least bad. That is my opinion. I have visited . the several countries I 
have referred to and examined them with some minuteness. To compare 
slavery in the Danish with that in the Freneh West India islands, I shall give 
this instanee. St. John's is only one mile from Tortola, a negro ean swim 
across, and obtain his freedom, but no one has yet made his escape. The case 
is different in the Freneh islands, for some thousands have made their escape 
from Guadaloupe and Martinique, the distanee being fifteen miles in the one 
ease, and twenty in the other. One-third of those who have endeavoured to 
escape, have been drowned in the attempt. During the prevalenee of the 
slave-trade the disproportion between the sexes was so great, that there were 
generally three men to one woman. The falling off in the population, there- 
fore, does not always arise from that extreme eruelty whieh you might sup- 
pose ; a great deal of it is owing to the fact, that the deaths have not been 
rc-plaeed by a proportionate number of births. But there is an island in the 
immediate neighbourhood of St. Thomas and St. Croix, called by foreigners 
Vieques, and by Englishmen Crab island, which being elaimed by Denmark, 
Spain, aud England, may be said to be no man's land, and to have become a 
resort for pirates and slave-traders. It would be better that'it should belong 
to Spain than to no one. It would be better for it to belong to Denmark than 
to Spain ; but better still that it should be defined to be the property of Eng- 
land. Crab island is not so contemptible in size, or so worthless in point of 
fertility, as is generally imagined. It is much larger than St. Thomas, and 
more fertile than Santa Cruz. But St. Thomas itself deserves to be signalized 
as the most notorious resort in the western world for the outfit of the illicit 
traders to the eoast of Afriea. The Portuguese have no lawful trade in these 
seas, and yet at the time of my visit to St. Thomas there were not less than 
seven Portuguese vessels in the harbour ; but none of them entered in the 
official registers of the eaptain of the port. 

Mr. PBESCOD.— I would merely state, in confirmation of Mr. Tubs-bull's 
remark, what I learnt coneerning that island, in a visit I paid in the early 
part of this year to the Windward and Leeward islands. In a conversation 
with Sir William Colebbooke, at Antigua, I learned that Crab island is the 
resort of slavers. It eontains a population of about 1000 slaves. They are 
under the dominion of a man who is a sort of despot in the island ; he 
claims the sovereignty of it, makes what laws he pleases, and imposes upon 
vessels what impost he pleases, and calls the island his own. But when 
any thing is said about it by England, it is then said to belong to Spain, and 
when Spain makes a elaim, it is said to belong to England. Sir William. 
Colebbooke aseertained that the produee of the island had, at one time, been 
brought to St. Kitt's to be cleared, and thenee exported as the produce of 
a British island. He considers that fact to be evidence of the proprietor- 
ship of England. I understand that he has made a representation on the 
subject to the British government, and when I left St. Kitt's, whieh was 



104 

late in March, it was then expected that the British government would 
take some steps, at an early period, to regain possession of the island. The 
Lieutenant-Governor of St. Kitt's expressed a hope, that in a few weeks' time, 
some British men-of-war would be authorised to take possession of the island, 
and remove the slaves to St. Kitt's. 

Mr. ALEXANDER.— I agree in the sentiment that there is -a greater 
mortality than there would otherwise be, from the abolition of the slave- 
trade ; but this is not sufficient to account for the actual decrease in the 
population, which has taken place on the present nearly stationary number of 
the slaves. Persons who reflect on these circumstances, must see that they 
are of a very unsatisfactory character. Some reference has been made to a 
single island belonging to Sweden. I purposely omitted alluding to this 
country as well as to the colonies belonging to Holland at the present time. 
To the latter subject I attribute much importance, on account of the number 
of the slaves in the Dutch possessions, and the improper treatment which 
they receive. I hope to have an opportunity on a future occasion, to speak 
of the circumstances of Dutch slavery, and the prospects of the abolition 
cause in Holland. 

Mr. EATON.— The decrease in St. Croix was stated to be 7000, out of a 
population of 26,000. Had not the negroes been subjected to the horrors of 
slavery, they ought in twenty-six years to have increased to 40,000, so that 
the actual decrease ought to be estimated at 21,000. 

Mr. Alexander moved, Mr. Thrnbull seconded, and it was 
carried unanimously, — That William Forster, George Stacey, and 
the mover and seconder be appointed a committee to take into 
consideration the facts stated by Mr. Alexander and others, in regard 
to the Danish Islands, and report thereon. 

Mr. Morgan moved, Mr. Phillips seconded, and it was carried 
unanimously, —That a committee consisting of Messrs. Birney, 
Bradburn, Colver, and Fuller, with the Secretaries, be appointed 
to draft resolutions on the subject of the present aspect of the Anti- 
Slavery enterprize in North America, and to report on Monday. 



THIRD DAY'S SITTINGS, MONDAY, JUNE 15th, 1840. 
(MORNING). 
Dr. GREVILLE in the Chair. 
The CHAIRMAN rose and said, 

Dear and respected friends, in consequence of a suggestion made on Satur- 
day, a number of delegates have already met, in order to implore the divine 
blessing upon the proceedings of this day. At the same time, a number of 
individuals have not been able to join that meeting, and I think you will agree 
with me that any irregularity in the manner of opening the public sittings of 



105 

the Conventiou would be attended with eonsiderable ineonvenienee ; aud as 
the suggestion that we should spend a few morneuts in reverential silenee 
before we eommenee was favourably reeeived, we ought to eontinue the prae- 
tice. We will now, therefore, if you please, implore the divine blessing in 
silenee upon all our efforts, and sayings and doings, this day. 



A pause devoted to the solemn purpose reeommended by the chairman 
then ensued. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed. 

Mr. BOULTBEE. — It has been my most anxious desire, during the whole 
sitting of this Convention, to earry into effeet the suggestion of our worthy 
and zealous friend, Mr. O'Connell, that we should endeavour to make all our 
efforts result in some practieal movement. Now, there are many ways in 
whieh this suggestion may be earned into effeet ; but it strikes me upon very 
serious and careful consideration, that the most praetieal way is to show that 
slavery iu its effeets is prejudicial to the planters as well as to others ; or in 
other words, that free labour is far more benefieial to everybody than slave 
labour. I believe it would not be at all diffieult to prove, from the evidence 
and communications reeeived from many gentlemen, both from the West 
Indies and from America, that the planters would be pecuniary gainers by 
free labour. But I shall now content myself by moving the resolution which 
has been put into my hand : — 

That a committee consisting of Messrs. John Cropper, Josiah Con- 
dee, and John Sturge, be appointed to colleet and arrange facts on the 
advantages of free over slave labour, and to report thereon. Sueh report 
to detail the most effectual means for securing the adoption of free 
labour. 

When the eommittee have made their report, I will venture to express my 
opinion upon it. At present I will not detain the meeting further. 

William Kay, Esq., (of Liverpool), seconded the motion which was 
carried unanimously. 

Samuel Bowly, Esq. (of Gloucester), moved, Mr. Eaton, seconded, 
and it was earned unanimously, — 

That a committee be appointed, consisting of W. Knibb, S. J. 
Prescod, W. W. Anderson, W. Morgan, and Captain Stuart, with 
power to add, to their number, to obtain and arrange evidence on the 
results of emancipation in the British Colonies, and that they report 
a resolution thereon ; also, that they eonsider and report the measures 
now necessary for securing and rendering permanent freedom in the 
said colonics. 

Mr. BIENEY, on the call of the Convention, made the followiug 
observations : — 



106 

I understand this day is to be given up to the consideration of American 
Slavejiy. The time allowed not having been sufficient to enable the com- 
mittee to present the subject in the most compact and manageable form of 
which it is susceptible, they have decided on bringing before you, although 
it may be without entire regard to consequential connexion, those points which 
are deemed essential to an adequate understanding of it. In prosecution of this 
plan of the committee, I will occupy a few moments to explain, as succinctly 
as the case will permit, some of the relations of the American governments, 
and the condition of slavery as it exists under them. I am the more desirous 
of doing this,because I have noticed in the Anti-slavery and other publications 
of this country, much of perplexity and misapprehension arising out of, what 
must appeal- to strangers, our complicated governmental machinery. The 
American Colonies, (in 1778) soon after they had declared themselves iudepeu- 
dent of the mother country, established a general form of government, known 
as the Articles of Confederation. This continued during the remainder of the 
revolutionary struggle, and till the adoption of the present constitution. The 
Articles of Confederation conferred no power on the Confederation to abolish 
slavery, or to interfere with it in any way. Slavery remained wholly under 
the control of the several state governments, under the sanction of which it 
existed. Under the confederation, the general government possessed, no terri- 
tory over which it had an exclusive authority. The confederation, as it seemed 
to the most judicious of our statesmen, did not possess power enough to bring 
the country into united action on any of the great objects of government. It 
gave way in 1787 to the present constitution. The powers of the geueral 
government are those, and only those which have been specifically conferred by 
the people who, by their representatives instituted it ; and such as are necessary 
and proper to carry out the specific grants of power. Other powers have been 
couferred by the people on their respective state governments. If then, there 
are powers (such as are exercised by governments generally) not conferred on 
either the general governments or the state governments, they are considered 
as still reserved by the people, the source of all governmental authority. There 
was no power granted to Congress (the national legislature) to legislate in any 
way for the abolition of slavery within the states. The power to abolish slavery 
withiu the states is either possessed by the state legislature, or 
reserved it to themselves. Where the latter is the case, as foi 
State of Kentucky, it would be necessary, iu order to abolish slavery, that 
the people should authorise the holding of a Convention (of which they them- 
selves would be the immediate constituents) with a view to the exercise of that 
power by the Convention itself, or to the conferring of the power on the ordi- 
nary legislative body. Congress, however, now possesses powers in relation to 
slavery which it did not possess under the confederation. It has " power- to 
exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatever over such district as may 
by cession of particular states become the seat of government of the United 
States." This "cession" was made by Maryland and Virginia, aud the « district" 
of Columbia has " become the seat of government of the United States." Con- 
gress possessed no power at the time of the " cession" to permit the continuance of 
slavery in the ceded district. Indeed, it had uo power under the constitution to 
authorize the continuance of slavery for a moment after the district came under 
its control. No such power was granted to it, nor is slavery necessary orproper 
for carrying into effect any of the specific, grants of power ; i 
direct opposition to the great object and principles of the u] ' 



ie have 



>n. To 



107 

" justice" was one of these objects : Slavery is a violation of justiee. Congress 
now has the power, as every one will see, of immediately abolishing slavery in 
the district of Columbia. That it does not exereise this power for the enlarge- 
ment of the six thousand slaves at the door of the capitol is the standing dis- 
grace of my country. Again : Congress lias " power to dispose of and make 
all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory belonging to the 
United States." Congress had, and still has, immense territories under its 
eontrol. Louisiana was purchased from Franee. Slavery existed in Louisiana 
when the purchase was made. Its eontinuance was provided for by the 
treaty of cessiou ; thus, by a side-wind, setting aside the constitution of the 
United States, which gives to Congress no such power. The States of 
Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri, earved out of this territory are slave 
holding states. Cougress had the power to abolish slavery within them whilst 
they had only a territorial existence and relation to the general government. 
It had also the power to refuse them admission to the union as states, when 
they made application, with their slavery-tainted constitutions in their hand. 
Congress, also, possesses "power to regulate commeree among the several 
states." Under this power, Congress has not put a stop to the large traffic 
that is carried on from one part of the country to another in human beings. 
The slave-holders say it is not authorized to do this, under the provision just 
mentioned, beeause the power to "regulate" is not the power to abolish. This 
is true, as an abstract proposition ; but is the prohibition of a particular article 
of eommeree— even allowing that human beings can justly be considered such 
an article— the abolitiou of eommeree 2 Large as is the trade carried on in 
slaves, they constitute but a small item, when the proeeeds from the sale of 
them are compared with the avails of the numberless other articles whieh 
unite to make up commerce among the states. The conclusion to which these 
eases lead us, is, that Congress has, in some instances, gone beyond its constitu- 
tional powers, and established slavery ; but that it has wholly failed to exert 
the powers conferred upon it for the abolition in any way of slavery, or 
the domestie slave-trade. Let notjhe fathers of our constitution be indis- 
criminately eharged with desiring to continue slavery to the present time. 
There are, it is true, several provisions of the constitution whieh have relation 
to slavery ; but none of them are inconsistent with emancipation in any form, 
either gradual, prospective, or immediate. The guilt of not having aeted 
must rest on onr legislators, because of their want of will, not of power, to do 
what was called for by the spirit of the constitution, the dictates of natural 
justice, and the expectation of the civilized world ; Washington and 
Franklin, and the most veuerable of our constitutional fathers, were in favour 
ofthe abolition, the total abolition, of negro slavery. They erred, however, in 
preferring union to its abolition. It was the wish of a majority of the Con- 
vention which framed the constitution, that negro slavery should eventually 
disaj>pear from the United States. It was with this view, that they eonferred 
on Congress the power to put an end to the Afriean slave-trade at the eud 
of twenty years. It would not have been further tolerated at all, had it not 
been for the opposition made by the states of South Carolina and Georgia, to its 
immediate abolition. These states refused to become members of the union, if 
the African slave-trade should be at onee eut off. The temi for which it was 
tolerated was allowed on their aecount. Fatal allowanee ! We are now reaping 
the bitter fruits of it— of what must have seemed, at that time, a very small 
saerifiee of prineiple to expediency. But it was thought that this would not 



much interfere with the eventual abolition of slavery. There was no great 
staple cultivated exclusively by slaves to make them and their labour valuable. 
Cotton was hardly kuown at this time as an article of exportation. Rice 
and Indigo were comparatively of small importance. The ordinary products 
of slave-labour, were also produced by the free labour of some of the adjoining 
states. This competition would soon have rendered slave-labour too expensive 
to be permanently maintained. Beside this, the spirit of emancipatiou had 
begun to show itself in several of the northern and middle states. Prin- 
ciples utterly at war with slavery, were acknowledged and incorporated in 
their written forms of government, aud they were beginning to be acted on 
in many instances, in good faith. It might reasonably enough have been 
anticipated, from the combined influences of the small value of slaves ; of 
there being no staple to increase their value ; of the cessation of the African 
slave-trade ; of the recognition of the principles of freedom in the several 
state constitutions ; and of what had already been done in the way of actual 
emancipation, that slavery would not very long be coutinued in the United 
States. But all these causes of hope seem to have been nullified by the 
invention of the cotton gin, by which the labour heretofore performed by a 
thousand hands in preparing the cotton for use and for the market, was 
performed by one. From that time (1793) slavery has been on the advance 
in the United States ; and in proportion as the cultivation of cotton has 
increased, the prospect of its abolition has seemed to become more and more 
obscured, so far as the action of the government is concerned. It is true that 
for the last twenty years, the slave-holding interest in the United States has 
succeeded in bringing almost exclusively within its control the administratiou 
of the general government. But that interest does not include the people of 
the United States. The people of the free states want but knowledge of the 
principles and measures of the abolitionists to put an end to its reign. The 
prejudice which the slave-holders in the southern states, aided by their friends 
in the northern states, were enabled to excite against the abolitionists, is 
beginning to give place to a better feeling. The design of the slave-holders 
to perpetuate slavery, and to sue the government of the country for that 
nefarious purpose is, at last, beginning to be seen by the people of the free 
states. They are beginning again to look on the odious features of slavery 
anew presented to them, and to dread the interest that would fasten the 
system on the country, as the most pernicious that can be entrusted with 
power. They are it is true, only beginning thus to feel. But the slave-holder 
is alarined even at these faint beginnings of adverse signs. He begins to writhe, 
and in his torment to cry [out that the literature of the world, the public 
opinion of the world, and all the moral influences of the world, are against 
him and the iniquitous system which he seems determined to maintain though 
the heavens should fall. In his desperation, he is striving to sustain himself 
by remedies suited to the nature of his case. He is now attempting so to 
act on the government of the United States, that it shall commit itself before 
the world on broad principles, to the maintenance of southern slavery. With 
this view the following resolutiou was passed by the senate of the United 
States. " That if any ship or vessel is forced by stress of weather or other 
unavoidable cause, into the port, and imder the jurisdiction of any friendly 
power, she, her cargo, the persons on board, with their property, and all ihe 
rights belonging to their personal relations, as established by the laws of the state 
to which they belong, should be placed under the protection which the laws 



109 

of nations, under such circumstances, extend to the unfortuuate." The faets 
which gave rise to this resolution are simply, that three American vessels, 
freighted with slaves, and sailing from certain ports in the United States, to 
certain ports within the same, were driven by stress of weather into the 
Bermudas and Bahama islands, in two of the cases, before emancipation 
had taken place in the British colonies ; in the third, after that event ; and 
all the slaves had been set free by force of English law. The United States' 
government, (although the slave-holders say it has no right to interfere in any 
way on the subject of slavery), demanded of this government either that the 
slaves should be delivered up to their masters, or satisfaction made for them 
in money. The British government refused wholly to deliver up the slaves, 
but paid the value of the two cargoes set free before the emancipation act had 
taken effect, declining to pay for the third, on the ground that the British 
government no louger recognized property in man. The resolution just read 
proves that the slave- interest in the United States does not iutend to remain 
quiet under the course taken by the ministry here. There was entire unani- 
mity, too, in passing the resolution ; out of the thirty-two senators present, 
not one being found to oppose it. Unanimous as they were, they certainly 
did not expect to prevail on the eivilized nations of the world, just at the 
time when a general movement is making toward the extermination of 
slavery, to engraft a recognition of its rights (!) on the law by which their 
intercourse is regulated; the thing that they have avoided attempting 
when slavery was in its " palmy state." No : they wish as much as in them 
lies to commit the government at home, so that it may be kept back 
as much as possible from falling in with -the sentimeut of the other 
nations of the world. The eommittee think, that this resolution of the 
senate of the United States, ought to be made as public as our proceedings 
can make it ; that all Europe ought to be admonished of the attempt. In 
pursuance of this opinion, I now ask leave to submit the followiug preamble 
and resolutions — 

Whereas, in the year 1835, a eertain eargo of slaves was shipped 
from one of the ports of the United States to another port within the 
same ; and, whereas, the ship whilst performing the voyage was provi- 
dentially driven on one of the British West India islands, and the said 
slaves, of course, by the operation of British law, made free ; and, 
whereas, the Ameriean government, on behalf of the persons claiming 
said slaves as their property, demanded of the British government, 
either that said slaves should be delivered up, or that remuneration should 
be made to their pretended owners ; and, whereas, the British govern- 
ment refused to eomply with the requisition for the delivery up of said 
slaves, or with its alternative, and this on the ground that the British 
government had eeased, on any part of its territory, to reeognize the 
right of one man to hold property in the person of another ; and, whereas, 
the slave-holding interest in the United States is attempting, in the 
Congress of the United States, to stir up the American government to 



no 

resist the principle on which such remuneration was refused; and, 
whereas, in the prosecution of this attempt, a resolution was recently 
received in the House of Representatives of the United States, urgino 
that government to insist on an arrangement with the British govern- 
ment, by which slaves escaping from their masters in the United States 
into the British dependencies on the American continent, should either 
be delivered up to their masters, or a full indemnity paid for them ; and, 
whereas, in the further prosecution of the said unjust object, the senate 
of the United States, by a resolution passed in April Last, declared in 
effect, that if an American ship or vessel carrying on the slave-trade 
between any of the ports in the United States, should be forced 
by stress of weather, or any other unavoidable cause into the port, 
and under the jurisdiction of a- friendly power, she and her cargo, 
and the persons on board with their property, and the rights belouging 
to their personal relations, as established by the laws of the state to 
' which they belong, ought to be placed under the protection which 
the laws of nations extend to the unfortunate, under such eircum- 
stances :— Wherefore, it is resolved,— as the sense of this Convention, 
that the proposition embodied in said resolutions, to wit, to sustain by the 
sanctions of public law, which are founded on the principles of natural 
justice and right, the pretensions of the slave-system which exists only by 
disregarding justiee and annihilating right, is not only unchristian and 
absurd, but disrespectful to the common sense of mankind :— that this 
the first attempt known in the history of nations, to convert the preten- 
sions of slave-holders into rights, and as such to engraft them on the 
system of public law, by which the intercourse of nations is regulated, 
ought never to have emanated from the senate of a people, who, from a 
period of time coeval with their independent national existence, have 
asserted before the whole world, and in the most solemn manner, that 
all men are created equal, are entitled to their liberty, and to the 
pursuit of happiness :— that to allow such a proposition, would be not 
less inconsistent with the honour and dignity of Great Britain, and of 
such of the other nations of the world as have either abolished slavery 
within their respective limits, or are in good faith proceeding so to do, 
and is hostile to the avowed prineiples of tbat people among whom it 
has originated, and to the cause of humanity, with which, under God, 
all governments are solemnly charged. 



Ill 

I proceed to show the actual condition of the slaves of the United States. 
They are wholly at the mercy of their masters. They cannot testify in courts 
of justice in any case, civil or criminal, where a white is a party ; neither 
can a free coloured person. And this disability is not confined to the slave 
states, it is the law in the free states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The 
slaves derive no rights from marriage. Even the mere form of marriage 
is seldom observed in their case. The master can sell the wife and the 
husband from each other at any moment, and the children from both. 
They are denied all literary instruction. In most of the states, instructing 
slaves or coloured people (even such as are free), in letters, is a penal 
offence. The power of punishment on the part of the master is unlimited. 
The law does not authorize this directly ; but as the slave cannot testify against 
the master, and the latter has full power over the body of the slave, he may 
remove him or her to a private place where no white person could see them, 
aud perpetrate on the body of the slave whatever his passion or malice prompts 
him to do. The slave has no civil rights. He cau possess nothing as property, 
being property himself. He cannot sue for any trespass committed on his 
person by any white. His master may sue, but would not generally recover 
enough to carry the costs of the suit, unless he could make it appear that his 
slave, was disabled from performing his usual amount of labour. Their reli- 
gious instruction is almost wholly neglected. They have been declared by the 
religious bodies, among whom they were, to be heathen, and in some respects, 
heathen of the worst description. The slave-trade is carried on in the United 
States to an enormous extent, and under circumstances of great cruelty. The 
men are driven through the country, chained in double rows — the principal 
chain running between them. To this they are fastened by lateral chains 
when they start from the place at which they are brought together, after the 
number intended to be purchased is made up. They are kept confined in this 
manner day and night, till they reach the market at which they are to be sold. 
Here they are offered, in lots or single, to the person, no matter who he is, or 
where he may reside, who will give the highest price for them. The most 
disgusting scenes are said to take place at these marts, when the slaves are 
subjected to personal examination, to ascertain whether or not they are 
sound in every respect. Medical men are said sometimes to lend themselves 
to this brutal work. In the Uuited States we need every influeuce that can 
properly be used, both external and internal, to bring this system to an end. 
I fear if we cannot be brought under the former, our case is a hopeless one ; 
with it, success is certain. Let Great Britain see that justice is done to 
the emancipated in the "West Indies, let them be seen to prosper, as there 
is no doubt they will, if they be fairly dealt by ; let her continue to hold out 
to the world the noble example of refusing to recognize as au independent 
power the Texans, as long as they persist in their warfare against the 
peace and repose of the coloured race. Let France thus be encouraged to 
imitate the example of this country. Spain cannot but soon follow ; so also 
the other states who uphold slavery in the "West Indies. The two millions of 
coloured people in the West Iudies being made free, protected by equal laws, 
encouraged in improvemeut by just aud paternal governments, seen to be 
prosperous aud happy ; the three millions in the United States will soon be 
enabled to swell the chorus, and join in the jubilee of freedom. 

Sir EARDLEY WILMOT, Bart., M.P.— I rise to second these resolutions • 



112 

with tlie highest pleasure and satisfaction ; and if I had wanted anything, to 
induce me to assent to the request of the honourable gentleman near ine, to 
'second them, it would he that most satisfactory feeling of being an Englishman 
to second an American, on an American question. I shall not detain you by 
a speech, or by entering into subjects which will be treated so much better by 
an honourable member who is to rise just after me. I may say, however, that 
I think slavery a most grievous wrong, and that I am as anxious as you ail to 
nut an end to it. Allow me to speak on an insignificant subject-that is 
mvself Dnring the period I have been in Parliament, from the time when I 
opposed the apprenticeship sy S tem,to the time when I placed the government 
in a minority of three on the Jamaica bill ; and, the yet more recent time, 
when I resisted them on the Hill Coolie question, I havebeen hearty m your 
cause, and shall deem it my greatest honour to be a participator in your holy 
stiWe I shall always consider those occasions the proudest periods of my 
life, when I am able to aid you in the noble object you have in view._ 

Mr. O'CONNELL.-I beg respectfully to offer two excuses for intruding 
mvself upon the meeting. The first consists in what has fallen from the 
honourable baronet, than whom a more sincere or zealous friend to the cause 
of abolition never existed, nor a more useful one He said he was glad as an 
Englishman, to second the motion of an American. I wish to intrude an 
X u^on you. The second excuse is, that the mover of the question, 
Se Zourable gentleman who has just sat down, has stated that it involves 
nrincinles of universal and international law,both being commingled. Giveme 
leave, then, as a lawyer of some experience, as my experience may ^compen- 
sate for my want of talent, to say something. I entaely agree with him, that 
he 2tL of the American senate is inadmissible It is an outrage on 
Pnmmon sense • it is a violation of public honesty. They claim a property m 
,Ln I Why that is inconsistent with not only all constitutional law, and 
Xeir own constitution ; but above all, with the eternal principles of jus ice 
Sow Culd they like that the blacks should do unto them as hey delight to 
doTnte the blacks 1 I have not the heart to wish any man a slave, but real y 
I am tempted almost to do it for once, and wish CUlho™ a slave. It won d 
not, perhaps, be an inappropriate retribution for his mfamous djspo^tionte 
V ™;ti, tniuqtice ininuity, and inhumanity, to subject him to the lasn 
ScfneToSlnS on others. Oh: how indignantly^ and pathe 
tioaUv he would plead on behalf of his outraged nature ! Why, some of 
you may Zllert the case of the American Ahams, who having £ n 
i * ;-n Afi-inn the dark swarthy natives said he was ouly fit foi a slave , 
hfwas i£Sl^££ to thei race ; the whites were good for notlung 
hut slavery to which he was consigned for four years, amongst the Moors. 
He walxan Led for a small sum, so little did the Africans think a 
lie was icuiBum scarcely speak English, and had 

^Lri^oflSeris?. 6 C So Ul you C see how^he i^ejvould work if 
SaSy a^phed. The proposition of CUxhott* s untenable even as an 
American proposition. The resolutions of our friend set forth its incon- 
i"en y with P the first clause of the American Charter of Impendence 
sistency w fa jg a gtl . onger wor a ; it 

iSeslTl l£ CeThe same «»* right to life, liberty, and the 



113 

themselves together. Each state was to have a separate government, with 
the power of taxing, and making laws, binding as to life and death. They wore 
bound together by one great confederation, one ruling power over the entire 
having particular functions given to it. That great charter (the declaration 
of American independence) commences by declaring emphatically, that all 
men are bom equal, and all have an inalienable right to life, to liberty, and to 
happiness. It is not confined to the white man, to the mulatto, or to the 
black, or to any particular order. It is not, of course, limited to any sect or 
- creed, to any caste or nation ; but it is a solemn declaration, that all axe born 
equal, and that all are alike entitled inalieuably to life and liberty. There is 
the sacred basis of the American constitution. And from this spot, I wish to 
rouse all the high and lofty pride of the American mind. Republicanism 
necessarily gives a higher and prouder tone to the human mind than any 
other form of government. I am not comparing it with anything else at 
present; but all history shows there is a pride about republicanism, which, 
perhaps, is a consolation to the republican for' any privations he may suffer' 
and a compensation for many things in which he may possibly be inferior • 
but from this spot, I repeat, I wish to rouse all the honesty and pride of 
American youth and manhood ; and would that the voice of civilized Europe 
would aid me in the appeal, and swell my feeble voice to one shout of honest 
indignation, and when these Americans point to their boasted declaration of 
independence, exclaim, "Look at your practice ! " Can there be faith in man, 
or reliance placed in human beings, who thus contrast their actions with 
then- declarations ? That was the first phrase of their boasted declaration of 
independence. "What was the last.!— «To these principles we solemnly pledge our 
lives,"(mvokmgthenameofthe greatGod,and calling for his aid)«we solemnly 
pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour." It has the solemnity 
without the profaneness of an oath ; it speaks in the presence of the living 
God ; it pledges life, fortune, and sacred honour to the principles they assert 
How can they lay any claim to "sacred honour," with this dark, emphatic, and 
diabolical violation of their principles staring them in the face ! No • America 
must know that all Europe is looking at her, and that her senate, in'declarino- 
that there is a property in human beings, has violated her oath to God and 
"sacred honour" to men. Will the American come down upon me then 
with his republicanism ! I will meet him with the taunt, that he has mingled 
perjury with personal disgrace and dishonour, and inflicted both with a 
double barb into the character of any man who claims property in any human 
being. France, and even England, might possibly adopt such a resolution 
without violating their national houour, because they have made no such 
declarations in their constitutions as America, and therefore she is doubly 
dyed in disgrace by the course she has taken, in open opposition to her own 
charter of independence. But there would have been the same violation of 
principle in England, had she acceded to the resolution of the American 
Congress. I feel proud to say, that they may pass and adopt as many such 
resolutions, and press them as long as they please, and the entire fifty-two 
senators may vote for them too ; but they will be all idle, all useless all 
inefficient, because the British government has no power to acquiesce in any 
one of them. The British government has no funds out of which to grant 
compensation. Aud, I believe, no party in the state would ever propose a 
grant for such a purpose; neither the party with whom I have the honour to 



114 

vote, nor the party supported by the honourable baronet The resolution is, 
therefore, perfectly idle. England has nobly paid twenty millions ft, the 
purpose of redeeming the slave from bondage ; and, now, wherever he flag 
ofour gracious Queen floats upon the breeze, there is glorious freedom 
ttei-ralfmen are free. The moment the foot of a bondsman touelies the 
shore of England, or any of her dependencies, his slavery vanishes, ihere is 
now no such thing known to the British law, as that one man may have a 
property in his fellow-man : there is an act of Parliament against sueh a erime. 
It hasoflenbeen laid down, that an act of Parliament whieh , is notoriou y 
against justice and humanity, is void. I am afraid, however, that in ^raetice 
that maxim is not always cared for. But no man, not one of any paity 
whatever, would dare to eome down to the House of Commons and propose 
a grant for the purpose of making compensation to the ^ American slave- 
holders. If one could be found of any party whatever to do it, he would be 
shouted down and seouted from soeiety. The British minister could no more 
enter into a bargain with the Ameriean senate for that purpose, than he eould 
transfer one of the English eounties over to the Ammica* P^siDENxand 
give him iurisdietion over Yorkshire or Kent. It is impossible ; it eanno 
be done, because it is totally ineonsistent with our law, and with mtfflnabonal 
law too! For almost all the states of Europe have now admitted slavery 
to be a crime. It has been admitted in France, and the eause of abolition is 
deeply indebted to the exertions of the gentlemen now with us from that 
country, and whose presenee I look upon as a pledge, that he question of 
negro emancipation shall not remain where it is. (Mr. 0>Co*x**l here 
trfluded to Moksieuh Isammut, member of the Chamber of Deputies, and 
others who were present as a deputation to the Convention). That 
cause is in progress, and I trust, that the Freneh will realize the proudest 
expectations that ean be entertained of their chivalrous love of honour 
and glory, in this enterprize of humanity and philanthropy ; I think the 
French will not suffer themselves to be inferior to any other nation in this 
cause I wish to see no rivalry between us, except rivalry to do good; 
it is a glorious rivalry, and although we may now good-humoredly taunt 
them, and say, "You have not gone so far in the glorious work as ^ we ; 1 
trust the day is not far distant, when our French neighbours may rem-n the 
taunt, and say, "We have gone before you now, and done better. Well 
then, the government have not the power to pay the compensation, unless 
indeed they agree to do so out of their own pockets, by a elub of their 
salaries,-a thing that is not very likely. How, then, is it to be paid? 
There is one way in whieh it can be done, that is, by a vote of the House of 
Commons. I should like to see the minister who made the proposition. 
Never would any proposition get sueh a scout as that ! The senate of America 
have, in their excessive desire to put forward a wieked prmeiple,an abomi- 
nable claim, a horrible injustice, overshot their mark, and defeated their own 
purpose. Nothing will they get but dishonour and detestation ; for it is 
utterly impossible that their proposition ean be carried into effect. No man 
shudders at the thought of war more than I do. You hate a robber ; you 
hate a murderer ; but war, in its best form, is accompanied by thousands of 
robberies and murders. If anything eould justify a Christian man m going to 
war, it would be to oppose sueh an unjust prineiple as this ; and those who do 
not feel so strong a moral detestation of war as I do, would, perhaps, go so 



115 

far iu resisting such horrible injustice ; but I hope that we shall be spared 
any necessity for an appeal to physical force. I rejoice to hear the present 
agitation is striking terror into the hearts of the slave-mougers, whose selfish 
interests, vile passions, and predominant pride, with all that is bad and 
unworthy commingled, make them willing to retain their hold of human 
property, and to work with the bones and blood of their fellow-creatures ■ 
whilst a species of democratic aristocracy, the filthiest aristocracy that ever 
en ered into civilized society, is set up in the several states, an aristocracy that 
wishes to have property wifliout the trouble and toil of earning it, and to set 
themselves above men, only to plunder them of their natural rights, and to 
live solely upon their labour. Thus, the gratification of every bad passion 
and every base emotion of the human mind, is enlisted iu defence of the 
slave-holders right. When we turn our eyes upon America, we see in her 
haughty declaration of independence, the display of the demonic elements 
of popular feeling against every thing like tyranny or oppression. But when I 
fZll ^ di8trict 1 0f Coliunbia, there I see in the capital and temple- of 
fieedom, the negro chained to his toil, and writhing beneath the lash of his 
task-master, and the n egress doomed to all the horrors of slavery There I 
see their infant, yet unable to understand what it is that tortures its father or 
detracts its mother ; while that mother is cursing its existence, because it is 
not a man, but a slave ; and almost wishing-oh ! what a wringing thouo-ht to a 
mother's heart-that the childmightsinkinto an earlygi-ave,ra?he? thanoecome 
tne property of an excruciating tyrant, and the instrument of wealth to others 
without bemg able to procure comfort and happiness for itself. That is America • 
that is the land of the free ; these are the illustrations of the glorious principles 
laid down in the declaration of American independence I These evils, inflicted as 
they are by the democratic aristocracy of the states, are worse than ever were 
inflicted by the most kingly aristocracy, or the most despotic tyranny I do not 
mean any thing offensive to our American friends present, but I do say, there 
is written in letters of blood upon the American escutcheou, robbery and 
murder, am , pl under of human beings. I recognize no American as a fellow- 
man, except those who belong to Anti-Slavery Societies. Those who uphold 
slavery are not men as we are, theyare not honest as we are ; and I look upon a 
slave-holder as upon a pick-pocket, who violates the common laws of property 
and honesty. They say, that by their Constitution theyare prevented from 
emancipatingtheslavesin the slave-holdingstates j but I look in the Declaration 
of Independence, and the Constitution of 1787, and I defy them to find a sina-le 
word about slavery, or any provision for holding property in man. No man can 
deny the personal courage of the American people. With the recollection of the 
batt es of Bunker's-liill, and Saratoga, of which, indeed, I might be reminded 
by the portrait which hangs opposite to mo, of one of the officers who took an 
active part in those conflicts (the Earl of Moira), with the recollection, Isav 
ot those battles, it would be disgraceful and dishonest to deny to the American' 
people, personal courage and bravery. There exists not a braver people upon 
T,™Z 6artl1, But amon g st aU th °ae who composed the Convention 
ot 1/87, there was not one man who had the moral courage— I was about to 
say, the immoral courage-to insert the word slavery in the declaration. No > 
they did not dare pronounce the word ; and if they did not dare to use the 
word slavery, are they to be allowed to adopt the thing ? Is America to shake 
her star-spaugled banner in the breeze, and boast of liberty, while she is 



116 

conscious that that banner floats over the heads of slaves I Oh hut they call 
* it "persons held to labour," that is the phrase they use in then- documents 
but dare any one say that slavery is implied in those words 1 The term applies 
Jo any perso^ who enters into a contract to labour, for a given period a by 
he montn or year, or for an equivalent ; but his doing so, does not constito to 

they intended to have slaves, but they dared not employ the word^ ana 
.'persons held to labour f was as near as they dared /PP; 0a0 ^° ^ Q f^Z 

andthe Americans (Ispeak not of them all, there are ^ ^"^^ 
have added hypocrisy to their other accomplishments. I hesitate not to ilrng 
fhTtoi of tnTs predicament upon proud America. They ^^IZ 

the wisest statesmen, the most profound legislators in the woild. We are 
ardent lovers of liberty, we detest slavery, and we lament that we have not 
fte "oier to make all free : then I whisper, Columbia! Columbia! you 
have'the power there, you have the authority there, to .^^^. 
you have the means and opportunities; you have, in short ve^g ™ 
tortd; the wiU alone is wanting; and, with aH your pi f™* ™'?™ the 
hypocrites. But I will now turn to a subject of congratulation : I meanthe 

™b^^ 

honour oSng aXler witothese American abolitionists. In this country 

™I wfi ™-oceed in our useful career esteemed and honoured ; but it is not so 
tlr/Xlav^ry friends in America; there they are vilified, there , they -« 
^suited Why, did not very lately a body of men-of prftaun so called- 
rjersons wlJ'would be ang^y if you denied them that cognc ,mei 1 and ^wou d 
pven be ready to call you out to share a rifle and a ball-did not such 
T^tleLn" break in upon an Anti-slavery Society in America ; aye, upon a 
Xs'Tnti-slavery Socfety, and assault '^;-;^lS 
And did they not denounce the members of that society? And wneieu 



117 

this happen '—"Why, in Boston— in enlightened Boston, the capital of a non- 
slavc-holding state. In this country, the abolitionists have nothing to complain 
of; but in America they are met with the bowie knife and Lynch law ! Yes ! 
in America you have had martyrs ; your cause has been stained with blood ; 
the voice of your brethren's blood crieth from the ground, and riseth high, 
not, I trust, for vengeance, but for mercy upon those wbo have thus treated 
them. But you ought not to be discouraged, or relax in your efforts. Here 
you have ■ honour. A human being cannot be placed in a more glorious 
position than to take .up such a cause under such circumstances. I am 
delighted to be one of a Convention in whicli are so many of such great and 
good men. I trust that their reception will be such as that their zeal maybe 
greatly strengthened to continue their nohle struggle. I have reason to 
hope, that in this assembly a voice will be raised which will roll back in 
thunder to America, which will mingle with her mighty waves, and which will 
cause one universal shout of liberty to be heard throughout the world. O 
there is not a delegate from the Anti-slavery Societies of America but ought 
to have his name, aye, and her name, written in characters of immortality. 
The habits of this country have forbidden us from receiving female delegates, 
because of the ridicule which some ignorant persons might have thrown upon 
our proceedings ; but though we have not received them as delegates, are they 
the less respected, or the less esteemed on that account 1 and, at my time of 
life I may say, are they to be less loved ? Who does not remember Angelina 
Grimke % and which of us does not owe her a deep debt of gratitude for her 
exertions in the cause of abolition ? The Anti-slavery Societies in America 
are deeply persecuted, and are deserving of every encouragement which we can 
possibly give them. I would that I had the eloquence to depict their character 
aright ; but my tongue falters, and my powers fail, while I attempt to describe 
them. They are the true friends of humanity, and would that I had a tongue 
to describe aright the mighty majesty of their great undertaking ! I love and 
honour America and the Americans. I respect their great principles; their 
untiring industry ; their lofty genius; their social institutions ; their morals, 
such morals as can exist with slavery— God knows they cannot be many— but 
I respect all in them or about them that is good. But, at the same time, I 
denounce and anathematize them as slave-holders, and hold them up to the 
scorn of all civilized Europe. "Why, even the American minister sent to our 
English court is a slave-holder : whether he is not also a slave-breeder is a 
disputed point, and one into which I shall not now enter. I would that the 
Government of this country would determine to have no dealings with him, 
and to tell the United States of America that they must send no more slave- 
holding negotiators here ! I will tell you a little anecdote. Last year I was 
accosted with great civility by a well-dressed, gentleman-like person in the 
lobby of the House of Commons. He stated that he was from America, and 
was anxious to be admitted to the House. " From what state do you come ?" 
" From Alabama." " A slave-holder, perhaps?" " Yes." " Then," said I, " I 
beg to be excused ;" and so I bowed and left him. Now, that is an example 
which I wish to be followed. Have no intercourse with a slave-holder. You 
may, perhaps, deal with him as a man of business, but even then you must act 
with caution, as you would with a pickpocket and a robber. You ought to be 
very scant of courtesy towards him, at least till he has cleared himself of the 
foul imputation. Let us beware of too much familiarity with such men ; and' 



118 

let ns plainly and honestly tell them, as a Convention, what we think about 
them. I am not for the employment of foree ; no— let all be done by the 
statement of indisputable faets, by the diffusion of information ; by the 
union of benevolent minds, by our bold determination to expose tyranny 
and cruelty ; by proclaiming to the slave-holders that so long as they have 
any eonnexion with the aecnrsed traffic in human beings, we hold them to be 
a different raee. Why should it not be so ? Why should not we shrink from 
them, as we would with shuddering, from the approaeh of the vilest reptiles ? 
The declaration of sneh views and feelings from sueh a body of men as are 
now before me, will make the slave-holders tremble. ' I know the bravery of 
the American nation ; I honour the men who have struggled for their liberty, 
and hail them as the most glorious brotherhood of man ; but with respect to 
the slave-holding portion of them, we should condemn them as a degradation 
to man, and as worthy only of contempt and seorn. My voiee is feeble : but 
I have no doubt that what I say will reaeh them, and that it will have some 
influence upon them. They must feel that they cannot inueh longer hold the 
sway. One of the great objeets of my hope is to affright the Amerieans by 
laying hold upon their pride, their vanity, their self-esteem, by commending 
what is excellent in them, and by showing how very far they eome short in 
those properties upon which they boast themselves. I would have this Con- 
vention avail themselves of all sueh aids, and to urge them by every possible 
argument to abandon the horrid vice by whieh their character is so foully 
disfigured. The honourable and learned gentleman (Mr. Birney), who has 
this morning addressed you, and who has himself set sneh a noble example 
of independenee to the slave-holding world, has called our attention to 
Texas. A few days ago I was favoured with a Texan newspaper. It most 
eordially abused me. Yes, I was as well abused in it as ever I had been 
in any paper in this country. I read with delight in it the statement, that 
"that monster O'Conneix had been the means of preventing the English 
Government from acknowledging the Texans." On reading that decla- 
ration I took off my hat, and made a low bow, and said, " yon do me too much 
honour, Mr. Texan." I would most eheerfully submit to any sueh attaeks in 
so noble a eanse. No party in England, eall it what yon will, would dare to 
acknowledge sneh a set of plundering knaves. Yes, they actually stole the 
land, their rightful possession of which, they wished us to acknowledge, and 
then they said it was likely to be lost, and so they took it ; jnst as a eountry- 
nian of mine, who possessed himself fraudulently of an estate, said, that he 
found the estate going astray. This Texan banditti put in the same plea. 
They actually stole the land, and their first aet was to introduce slavery, 
which had been abolished by the Mexican Congress ; and then they made a 
law by whieh it is impossible for any one to stir the question of abolition for 
a certain number of years ; and when those years expire, no person ean do so, 
unless he has the authority of three-fourths of the people. This puts me in 
mind of a story whieh is said to have happened in the days of ehivalry. A 
eertain knight was senteneed to be plaeed on the top of a church, where he 
was to remain for seven years. On the opposite end to him was plaeed a 
sheaf of wheat, and in the middle a needle ; and he was to be fed with all the 
wheat which the wind blew through the eye of the needle. This man had as 
much chance of getting fat as any person has of obtaining the eonsent of 
three-fourths of the Texans to coneur in the abolition of slavery. The first 



119 

acts of the robbers were to murder systematically all the Indiaus, and to 
enslave all the Africans. Only lately, seven chiefs were iuduced by some 
means to enter their towns, and they were all of them barbarously murdered. 
They have deprived the Indian of his inheritance, and they have made a law 
that no man who has Indian blood shall be possessed of any territory upon 
pain of death. They may call me "monster," as long as they please ; but 
while I have a tongue I shall call them foul robbers and murderers, and I will 
never vote with any ministry for the purpose of recognizing them. I believe 
that this Convention will do immense good by assisting to expose such men. 
I think that the attempt to raise a Texan loan in this country will be scouted 
by all the friends of humanity, whether Christians or Jews. The Texans 
will have but little chance of raising money in our markets, after we have 
thus exposed them ; after we have shown how their pretensions are based upon 
cruelty and blood. I feel deeply grateful for the attention with which you have 
listened to me. We have proof this day that there are those who love the cause 
of freedom in every part of the globe. And why should it not be so ? Why 
should not all unite in such a glorious cause ? We are all formed by the same 
Creator j we are alike the objects of the same watchful Providence 5 we are 
all the purchase of the same redeeming blood ; we have one common Saviour- 
and our hearts beat high with the same immortal hopes. And why should any 
portiou of the human race be shut out from our affection and regard ? If 
auy of them bow not before the throne of the same God, and trust not in the 
same Bedeemer, and are not cheered by the influence of the same hopes, the 
fault is ours who have kept their bodies in bondage, and their minds in the 
darkness of ignorance and superstition. But that it should be so in America, 
where religion seems so greatly to prevail ! let a word go forth from this' 
place that we do not deem them Christians,— by whatever name they are called, 
whether Episcopalians, or Baptists, or Independents, or Methodists, or whatever 
other name,— that we regard them not as Christians at all, unless they 
cordially imite with us in this great work. We honour all that is really good 
in America, and would have it all on our side in this glorious struggle— in 
this holy cause . Let us unite and persevere, and, by the blessing of God, and 
the aid of good men, freedom will, ere long, wave her triumphant banner 
over emancipated America, and we shall unite with the whole world to rejoice 
in the result. 

Rev. E. GALUSHA.— All present must, I think, be sensible that 
every American miuister, and every American citizen in this Conven- 
tion, is placed, at this moment, in very peculiar and responsible circum- 
stauces ; and that lie needs all that moral courage which has been 
so highly commended by the honourable member of Parliament who has 
just taken his seat. I trust, that I shall not be found deficient in that 
essential qualification ; but I know not, when my vote shall be known in 
America, but that I shall be charged with high treason. I speak not thus 
because I regret that God has placed me in such responsible circumstances, 
nor because I feel any reluctance to meet the consequences which may result 
from my vote, be they what hey may. But I wish this Convention, I wish 
the friends of humanity aud justice in this couutry,to know precisely upon 
what principle I ground a vote, for giving which I may be traduced as a 
recreant aud traitorous citizen in my own country. This Convention must 
be aware, that the resolution reflects most seriously upon the Government of 



J 20 

my country; and I hail it with the more pleasure upon that account ; because 
I think that the censure is deserved, and I hope that hy your unanimous vote 
it will he justly, amply, and effectually inflicted. For a minister of the 
gospel to take a position contrary to that of the government of his own country, 
may he deemed hy some of the logicians of that country to he extremely 
indecorous and presumptuous ; hut I wish it to he knowu, that the principles 
upon which I act are of higher obligation" and paramount to all others. I am 
called to act as I intend to do, hy the dictates of my own moral nature; by 
principles sanctioned hy the revealed will of God, and written, as I trust, 
upon the inmost tahle of my heart. As a minister whose husiness it is to 
teach the precepts of Christianity, I hold it to he high treason against the 
majesty of heaven, for any man, and especially for any Christian, to unite in 
any act, or in any compact, which contravenes the priuciples of justice and 
humanity. I hold, that as an American citizen, I am not called upon to he a 
party to the violation of those immutable principles. A pledge is given mc in 
our great national charter, that those sacred principles shall he carried out; 
and I love that charter upon that account. But when I find the adminis- 
trators of the government proving recreant to those principles ; when I find 
them violating that charter, I feel hound to go hack to the principles them- 
selves, and, that I may remain firm to those principles, I am willing even to be 
charged with treason against that government, that I may not he guilty of 
treason against my God. I throw myself therefore upon the justice of this 
country, to which I trace hack the principles upon which the government of 
my country is founded. I speak not now of civil power, hut of the great 
moral principles which moved the hearts and souls of those great men who 
first founded the Americau colonies, and planted there the tree of liberty, the 
germ of which they brought with them from this land ; the embryo of which 
had been nourished by British blood. It is to these principles that I cling ; 
it is by these principles that I justify my vote. These are the principles 
which are recognized in the sacred book, which says, " Honour the King," 
which may, I suppose, by a liberal construction, be rendered, " honour the 
Queen ;" and when the principles of the Queen's subjects are conformable to 
the dictates of God's word, I feel bound to honour both the people and the 
Queen of the land, at the same time that I honour the King of heaven. 
The resolution having been put from the Chair, it was carried 



Mr. STANTON.— Having had some experience in addressing public Con- 
ventions, and having found that as they approached the period of adjournment, 
they are, like myself at present, much fatigued in body and in miud, I feel some- 
what embarrassed in bringing forward any subject at the present stage of your 
proceedings. I feel embarrassed also on account of the great importance of the 
resolution I hold in my hand, involving in it so much which has to do with the 
extinction of slavery in America. I feel my embarrassment increased, too, in 
bringing forward this resolution after you have listened to the peerless eloquence 
of the honourable and learned member from the Emerald Isle. I have great 
pleasure in stating that the thunder of his eloquent denunciations has crossed 
the Atlantic, careering against the blast as thunder goes, and has rolled along 
the sides of the Alleghany mountains, aud sunk down into the valleys of the 
Mississippi, where men sell their kind. Permit me to say to you, in the 



language of one of your own poets, " hear me for my ei 
you may hear ;" adding to it, if not poetieally, yet sin 
believe. The resolution is as follows :— 



se, and be silent that 
a-ely, — that you may 



That while the literature of Great Britain exercises so vast an 
influcnee over the publie opinion of Ameriea, we deem it the duty of 
British abolitionists, individually, as well as colleetively, to make syste- 
matic efforts to secure a frequent, clear, and full expression of the 
sentiments of the nation, through its leading religious, political, and 
literary periodicals, on the subject of slavery, and the Anti-slavery 
enterprise in the United States ; to fix the attention of the world on 
the suecessful results of the West India emancipation ; and to spread 
before the Ameriean public, evidence of the deep indignation of the 
civilized world, against a slave-holding republic. 

I wish, before I say any thing further, to add a remark or two in re- 
ferenee to what has been said upon Mr. Birney's resolution, and the bearing 
of the Ameriean constitution in referenee to slavery. We admit that at the 
outset our forefathers siuned, in the eoustruetion of our eonstitution ; and we 
admit that we, their sons, have sinned also, in earrying out its provisions. I 
will make an exposition of one or two priueiples of the United States' eonsti- . 
tution, as they bear upon slavery, and I shall take a different eourse to that 
pursued by Mr. Birney, and shall show you what the government can do, and 
what it ought to do direetly and indireetly, for the extinction of slavery. The 
honourable member for Dublin has alluded to the distriet of Columbia. It is 
true, that the Congress of the United States has not the power to abolish slavery 
throughout all the states, but they have the power to do it in that distriet. It 
may be asked what is the use of extinguishing slavery in a distriet which is 
only about ten miles square, with but 7000 slaves ? I answer, the result would 
be very important in its bearings. In the first plaee, before it eould oeeur, the 
whole question of slavery must be diseussed, and all the various objections of 
the slave-holders to emancipation must be met, and would be met, aud 
eompletely answered. In my eountry, as in this, it is the habit to report the 
speeches of our national legislators at length ; these reports are earned into 
every part of the slave-holding states, where an Anti-Slavery advoeate eannot 
venture without the eertain prospeet of destruction by Lynehlaw, or the more 
summary jurisdiction of the bowie knife. Let a diseussion of this subject be 
had in Congress, and all the reasons for immediate abolition would thus be 
elearly stated ; arguments and faets would be brought home to the planter's 
bosom, and, sooner or later, might operate upon his heart. Again, with regard 
to the distriet of Columbia, uot only would abolition be the subjeet of 
diseussion by the highest legislative body in the nation ; but by the abolition 
of slavery in that distriet, that body would, in faet, say to the nation, that it 
was a system whieh was not fit to live. It would be a declaration by the 
highest authority in the land, that slavery ought to be extinguished in every 
part of the states. It was with this result in his eye, that Senator Preston 
of South Carolina, who strongly resembles the honourable member for Dublin 
not only in personal appearanee, but also in his use of the argmnentum ad 
Imminent, said, " We must resist the abolition of slavery in Columbia ;" and 



122 

why % " Because it is the gateway to the very citadel of American slavery." 
On this ground, the American Congress has refused even to receive petitions 
on the subject, in defiance of the right to petition ; in defence of which right, 
when it was refused by the British crown, our fathers went into a seven years' 
battle and to death, and thus, (I am an American, gentlemen, and you will 
pardon me for saving so), wrung from it that independence which they 
regarded as their birth-right. And yet this same free people, for five successive 
sessions, have denied to the abolitionists this very right. It is admitted, that 
Congress has power to exterminate this system in Columbia, and its abolition 
there would tend powerfully to wash out that stain which now tarnishes the 
American flag. Yes ! 

a While every flap of England's flag 

Proclaims that all around are free, 

From farthest Ind' to each blue crag, 

That beetles o'er the westeru sea; 

And yet, we scoff at Europe's kings, 

While Freedom's fire is dim with us ; 
And round our country's altar clings 
The damning shade of slavery's curse." 

And, again, Congress has the power, not only to abolish slavery in Commbia, 
but indirectly to exterminate it in the several states of the union, by 
abolishiug what is called the internal slave-trade among the states. It is 
admitted generally, that Congress has the power to destroy this, the main pillar 
of American slavery. I have called it the main pillar, but, if you will permit 
me, I will vary the figure, and call it the jugular vein of the system, without 
which it would cease to live. The northern states are the slave-breeding 
states, while the southern states are the slave-consumers. The northern states 
rear slaves, whom the southern states work into premature graves. The 
north are the Congos and the Guineas of the extreme southern states. In 
raising corn, hemp, and tobacco at home, the northern states do not need 
slave-labour ; slavery, therefore, is made profitable there by raising men and 
women for sale : and I will say in passiug, with regard to our ambassador in 
this country, that while he is a slave-holder, if he does not also traffic in 
human flesh, and is not a breeder of slaves, he is an exception to the great 
mass of "Virginian slave-holders, and, I think it is incumbent upon him, to 
prove that he comes within the exception, instead of the general rule. 

Mr. O'CONNELL.— He denied that there is any such practice in America 
as slave-breeding. 

Mr. STANTON.— Then, I say, he is either too ignorant to represent the 
American people in this couutry, or too dishonest ! Why, there lies now 
before me a document from the press of his native state, which says, that in ^ 
the year 1835 or 1836, twenty inillious of dollars' worth of slaves were sold from 
"Virginia to the other states. What ! Virginia not a slave-breeding state ! 
Why, she only raises a little hemp, and Indian corn, and scarcely more 
tobacco than her slaves require to chew ; and how could she prosper, were it 
not for her breed of human flesh 2 Now, what will be the effect of the exter- 
mination of this iuternal slave-trade 2 Slavery is only made profitable in the 
extreme southern slave-states, iu the cultivation of cotton, sugar, and molasses, 
by driviug the negroes to labour beyond what human nature can bear, by 
that brutal motive, the lash. The labour in the cotton plantations is so 



123 

e, that the slaves are, on an average, worked into their graves iu seven 
years after they euter the field ; a system, which, if extended to all the nations 
of the earth, would depopulate the world in a century. And how are these 
dreadful vacancies in the ranks of humanity supplied I By recruits of slaves 
from Virginia and the other breeding states. I will mention a fact, by way of 
illustrating this, which was told me by a Baptist minister in the United States. 
He said, that he had asked a slave-holder in Virginia, a member of a Baptist 
congregation, whether he was not apprehensive that the slaves would rise in 
insurrection against their masters and subdue them % The answer was, that 
they did sometimes apprehend such a thing, but that God, in his providence, 
had opened for them a safety valve in the extreme southern states, which 
purchased their surplus slaves, and worked them off, once in seven years, and 
thus prevented an explosion. I hesitate not, therefore, to assert, that if 
Congress would take up the sword of constitutional power, and cut this 
jugular vein, slavery would turn pale and die. It would fall by famine at 
the southern eud, aud die of apoplexy at the northern end of the union. But 
there is another way in which this may be accomplished ; namely, by the 
admission of what are called free states to the union. At the period of 
passing that renowned declaration, that all men are created equal, and are 
entitled to equal rights, there were thirteen states in the union, of whom 
six were free states, or just on the point of being free, and seven were slave- 
states. Since the American confederacy was formed, thirteen other states 
have been admitted to the union, eight of which were slave, aud five free 
states. Thus the slave-holders have swelled their partisans in congress, both 
as to senators and representatives. The original free states might have 
prevented this. Yes ! like him of old, they have sold their birth-right, but, 
like him, they have not obtained for it even a mess of pottage, for now those 
slave states rule the nation with a rod of iron. But there is hope for freedom 
even yet. In the north-westeru section of the republic, there is a splendid 
country now rapidly filling up with the free population of the New England 
states. This forms what is called the north-west territory, the land of which 
is fertilized by majestic rivers, which steamers traverse for thousands of miles, 
and which abounds in towns and cities. The emigrating population of the 
New England states flows over, not iuto the slave-states, but into this district; 
and now there are two territories, Wisconsin and Iowa, ready for admission 
to the uuion. Other free states will soon be prepared for admission, and this 
territory may, by and by, give the anti-slavery interest the preponderance ; 
for the south has nothing wherewith to counteract it, but Florida, a land of 
swamps and Indians. "While we thus introduce new free states, they have no 
other slave-states to introduce ; and, therefore it is, that Texas, urged on by 
theh- influence, wishes for admission to the union. These far north-western 
regions are rapidly populating, and, unless Texas is admitted to the union, 
the slave-holding states may soon lose the balauce of power. It may be said; 
is this your situation in America ? I answer, it is even so. Our case is one 
of great difficulty. The general government has no power to aboKsh slavery, 
but in the way of which I have spoken ; and, in some senses of the word, 
our case is hopeless. We have the power to alter the constitution, in order to 
abolish slavery, but to accomplish that will require the assent of two-thirds 
of the states. Hence we find it uecessary to rely much upon moral power ; 
mid wL<!ii I speak of moral power, I do not meau to exclude political actiou ; 
those political movements, especially, which may be considered as moral. 



124 

Hence, the importance of the resolution which I have the honour to submit 
to you. We rely much upon external influences. The civilized world must 
erect a wall of fire around America, which may melt down the hard heart of 
the slave-holder. The abolitionists are feeble in numbers, but strong in 
moral power ; and, thank God, we are growing in both these respects. 
Therefore it is that we fall back for assistance upon the enlightened sentiments 
of the civilized world. One influence, which we desire to bring to bear for 
this purpose, is the literature of the world. We are, in America, a reading 
people. It may not be paying a very great compliment to this country, when 
I say that we read a great deal more than the English. I have travelled 
from Torquay to London, and have scarcely seen a newspaper : while in 
America I should have seen a thousand in that space. Every body reads 
there ; every Americau is a politician ; all have titles to nobility ; every body 
is heir-apparent to the throne. We are, therefore, politicians, almost from 
necessity. Every mechanic, has his "summary," and every gentleman his 
* broad sheet :" the summary is to be seen in every workshop — the broad sheet 
in all the saloons of our aristocracy ; for wc have our aristocracy, even in 
America. I take pleasure in saying, that the fountain-head of our literature 
is Great Britain. It is from the land of Shakspeare and of Milton, of Locke 
and of Newton, of Pope and of Scott, of Robertson and Mackintosh, that 
wc gather many of the gems which sparkle in our literary diadem. We come 
to England, and say, give us an anti-slavery literature. I have already 
spoken of the effect of British literature generally upon America. Such is also 
the case with our theology. Our theology is that of Howe and Baxter, of 
Taylor and Tillotson, of Wesley and Doddridge : we get it from you, take 
heed, therefore, that it be pure. Our law is derived from that of your Coke 
and Blackstone, and others, down to Mansfield, who made judicially the 
glorious decision, that the moment a slave sets his foot upon British ground, 
that moment he is free. Our histories, also, are from England, from Hume to 
Mackintosh. Thus, of every branch of literature and science. But we find 
it necessary to set up an expurgatorial inquisition, and to re-publish, so as to 
suit our pro-slavery habits and prejudices. Doubtless you have all heard of 
Tyler's history. In re-publishing it in America, it was found necessary, in 
consequence of some unpleasant reminiscences concerning liberty and 
revolutions, which it awakened in the minds of slave-holders, to get up an 
expurgated edition of it. An edition of Tyler, tabooed and expurgated, was 
published, and it sold well. Again, the Rev. J. H. Hinton published a history 
of the United States of America ; an edition of this was re-published in 
America by a firm, which the moment a work from England arrives, puts it 
into the hands of their compositors, and sends the sheets flying over the whole 
of the United States. Well, over came this history of Mr. Hinton's, which 
was circulated by these publishers in the usual manner. But it was not long 
before these gentlemen found letters upon their counters from their customers 
in the southern states, informing them that they must expect less of their 
custom if they sent to them such works as that. The reason was, because 
Hinton's work states the fact, that two millions and a half of human beings 
are unjustly held in bondage in America. An edition therefore was got up, 
expurgated from all those faults. The politics and the oratory of America 
are derived from Eugland. It is upon those great principles which, previous 
to the revolution, had struck so deep, and risen so high, which arc to be 
deduced from the writings and speeches of your Chatham, and those other 



125 

distinguished men who then enlightened the British senate, and which had made 
the hearts of Americans burn within them, that the polities of America were 
founded. Prom the days of Hampden to those of Burke, the eloquence of 
the British senate has found attentive listeners in America. The uoble 
denunciation of the Indian scalping knife, by Chatham, has not only thundered 
in the British senate, but in every city and hamlet in America. And, even 
now, in Boston, the denunciations of American slavery by O'Connell, are 
repeated with enthusiastic plaudits. British eloquence, therefore, is the 
eloquence of America. But the exclusion and expurgation of which I have 
spoken, is not confined to, what may be called, the higher departments of 
literature. A book was published in this country, entitled "Woods and 
Fields," by Howitt, a pretty little unpretending volume ; but even that was 
tabooed in America, because it contained some lines declaring that man was not 
born to be a slave. You have all, no doubt, read Pollok's " Course of Time," 
that volume also was condemned, because it was found to contain certain 
sentiments in favour of freedom, and, therefore, would never do to sell in the 
southern market. The new play of " Love," was performed at New York, and 
in other theatres of the states ; but because in the course of that play, 
Sheridan Knowles impliedly denounced slavery, it was expurgated ; for they 
could not bear even a mimic representation of freedom. Dr. Bowring's 
"Minor Morals" shared the same fate, the chapter on slavery being omitted. 
But there is another portion of your literature, by which you may reach the 
public mind in America, and which is not likely to be expurgated ; I mean your 
English Reviews. The Westminster, the Edinburgh, the Quarterly, and other 
Reviews published in this country, are read by thousands in the United States. 
There is one house in America which has ten or twelve thousand subscribers 
for such Reviews, and the subscribers stipulate that they shall be printed 
entire. An article in one of them, by Miss Martineau— the Martyr Age — 
excited so great a sensation there, that the publishers were obliged to apologize 
for its insertion ; still, the article was read, and read in the southern states. In 
those states a man must run the gauntlet, if he be suspected of entertaining 
anti-slavery principles. Such a man if he goes into the south, professing the 
sentiments of Rush, of Jay, of Franklin, and even of Washington, and 
attempting to speak of their application to things as they are, must almost take 
his winding sheet with him. But it is not so with books and periodicals ; these 
publications will be read. The slave-holder may feel disturbed in his mind 
while reading, and may put the book down ; but he thinks, Why, it is only a 
book ; he feels some shame at being disconcerted, and he takes it up again and 
reads it through. Thus our principles may strike into their hearts. Thus the root 
groweth downwards, the branch springeth upwards, and spreadeth wide s and 
glorious fruit is borne. We call upon you, therefore, in behalf of the American 
abolitionists, to saturate your literature with anti-slavery principles. Let the 
conductors of your religious periodicals bear this in mind. And we ask the 
newspaper press also, which, though of less importauce, is read in America, to 
assist in this great work. If this be done, if Great Britain will unite her 
literary with her moral and political power, we shall have a three-fold cord 
around the odious system, and with " a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all 
together," down will come slavery in America, as, by the application of similar 
means, it was brought to destruction in the West Indies. You have heard 
that the Americans are a combative nation. Time, they arc a brave, a 
courageous people, they can resist tyranny and oppression, but moral power 



126 

they cannot resist; and they will not be able to resist the combined influence 
of the literature and religion of this country. This is our last hope. I speak as 
one who has stood up against slavery amidst strife and opposition, in company 
■with brave men who have bared their bosoms to the storm in defence of their 
principles. "We fall back for assistance upon British sentiment, upon English 
literature, and our common Christianity. Send forth your publications send 
out your anti-slavery delegates. I have longed to take by the hand, your 
O'Connell, your Buxton, your James, your Clakxson, and your other noble 
men, and I now call upon such to reach forth their hands in our support, and to 
cheer us on. To be an abolitionist in England and in America are very diffe- 
rent things ; and, if I may be permitted to say so, but few of your abolitionists 
have stood fire on our side of the Atlantic. I do not wish to speak invidiously ! 
I sec one before me who did stand fire, (pointing to Mr. Geokge Thompson) — 
who stood fire bravely. But we have had visits from men of high pretensions, 
and of loud-sounding titles, of whom we have been compelled to say, " save 
me from my friends !" Send us not so much, great men, as bold men and true; 
and, I add, send us a purified, a vivifying literature ; a literature instinct with 
the principles of freedom. Let it come in your magazines, your reviews, your 
newspapers, your books : — let all speak of freedom. Thus shall we reach the 
ears of men whom the voice of the American abolitionist cannot reach. Thus 
shall we convince their judgments, until they shall acknowledge the truth 
of our principles, and unite with us in their dissemination, and then slavery 

On the motion of Mr. Phillips, the Convention adjourned. 



THIRD DAY'S SITTINGS, MONDAY, JUNE 15, 1840. 

(AFTERNOON). 
Dr. GREVILLE in the Chair. 
Mr. PHILLIPS, on being called upon by the Chairman, observed : — 
In seconding the resolution proposed by Mr. Stanton, previously to the 
adjournment, I have but a fact or two to add to the statements which have 
been made by Mr. Stanton, and, as he has gone through the ground so 
thoroughly, it is not necessary to detain the Convention any length of time. 
"What I wish to call the attention of those present more particularly to, 
is, the fact of the southern portion of the union being shut against all the 
efforts of the abolition press ; and the north itself has also laid an embargo 
upon all anti-slavery proceedings. If any thing issues from the anti-slavery 
society of New York, what becomes of it ? Why it dies there. They could 
not even persuade any of the great leading newspapers of the north to insert 
their publications, or the facts they stated with respect to the West India 
experiment ; and it is utterly impossible for many of those present to imagine 
the ignorance that pervades the northern public with respect to the question 
of slavery ; and in spite of that ignorance they will not be instructed. Though 
there is no room in any portion of the American press for the advocacy of the 
slavery abolitionists, or the statements of their proceedings, yet full latitude 
is given to the distorted calumnies of the Jamaica press. There is, in act, 
no attention paid to anti-slavery publications in the United States, with 
the exception of some of the slave-holding portion of the community, who 



127 

occasionally allude to them, because their feelings are harrowed up by them, 
and they arc told truths which they do not like and cannot deny. Now, in 
order to show the manner in which anti-slavery publications are treated, I 
will mention a case which occurred in Boston. Mrs. Child, who must be 
known to all present by her literary productions, told me that her anti-slavery 
works were refused a place in one of the public libraries of that city. The 
permission also, before kindly afforded her, to make use of that public institu- 
tion, after the publication by her of a few volumes .on abolition, was withdrawn. 
Her volumes have been thrown from the window by one high in office in 
Massachusetts. Several similar cases have taken place in other parts of the 
United States, and the fact is, that unless some different course is adopted, the 
Anti-Slavery Society may just as well bottle up their publications, and place 
them under the corner stones of the great buildings in America, as attempt 
to give them circulation through the whole community of the United States. 
Their voice is only a whisper, which is drowned in the discussion of parties. 
Mr. O'Connell this morning alluded to England's flag floating in every sea, and 
to her influence being felt in the remotest parts of the world. I agree with that 
honourable gentleman in all that he has stated, upon this important subject; 
and, I trust, that this country will make its voice heard in America, in behalf of 
those who are in bondage there. I wish England to express her approbation of 
the manner in which the cause has been carried on in America. We are 
often asked there, why we have not agitated the anti-slavery question in 
America, as Wileerfoiice did in England 2 "We are doing so, and all we wish 
is, that the English people, through the press, should state that wc are doing 
so, as that will effectually silence the malice of those who call the advocates 
of the abolition of slavery, fanatics. When I return to America, and tell 
them that I have seen the white man and the black man walk arm in arm, I 
shall not bo believed. Why ? Because I am an abolitionist. I wish to have 
it recorded by the British press, that the coloured man is to be received in 
the^ same manner as the white ; that they are to be considered as brothers, 
deriving life and health from the same beneficent Creator. That is the 
principle, and the time principle of the abolitionist, the man who is so despised 
and so little heeded in America. All the publications of the Anti-slavery Society 
are discarded in America ; and I will venture to say, that even the tract of 
Mr. Weld will not be read by one in a thousand persons in America. But if 
these things are only noticed in the Edinburgh, and some of the other publi- 
cations of this country, they will be read in America with the greatest avidity. 
Allusion has been made to the East India question, and it has been said that 
we should strike off the shackles of the slaves, by appealing to the slave-owners' 
pockets. That may be all very well, but there is something more required 
than that. There must be an appeal to his conscience ; he must be persuaded 
that the slave is a brother, and that Ms duty towards his God, his duty 
towards man, forbid him to deal in humau blood aud flesh. The object is not 
merely to compel him to throw off the slave as a burden, but to make him 
recognise the rights of humanity, to welcome that slave to his side, to civili- 
zation and Christianity as a brother beloved. Such is the object of the Anti- 
slavery Society ; such is the object of those who advocate its principles. Their 
wish is to raise the slave to a level with his fellow-man. They wish to do this 
by education, and also by exciting the sympathy of Christians iu his behalf. 
This^ is only to be effected by the expression of the public sentiment : the 
religious public sentiments of England in their behalf. To show again the 



spirit which exists in America against those who advocate the abolition of 
slavery, I may just mention that the Emancipator, a publication, the object of 
which is to be known from its name, has frequently been returned from tho 
south to the north, because the post-master would not send it forward ; and 
such is the height to which prejudice is carried on this subject in America, 
that if they are told in the pages of the Emancipator that such and such is the 
case, they will not believe it, but will say, it is an auti-slavery lie. Bnt if 
the same things are only told them by a portion of the British press, they will 
believe every word of it. The fact is, although we have declared indepen- 
dence of Queens and Parliaments, that we are yet in contented vassalage to 
the genius of the mother country. The anti-slavery cause has eloquent and 
devoted men among its champions, but their countrymen will not listen. 
England alone, by her religion and literature, can draw round the conscience 
of every slave-holder who boasts, " that Chatham's lauguage is his native 
tongue;" a magic circle like the Boman herald of old, and say to him, 
" thence thou shalt not pass, till the spell be broken by the shout of eman- 
cipated men." 

Mr. STANTON.— Before the question is put from the Chair, I wish to 
state two or three facts, to show the palpable ignorance which exists in 
America, as to the proceedings of those who are aiming to abolish slavery, 
and as to the movements which have been made in the West India colonies. 
It might naturally be supposed, that we should select our most ei 
and intelligent men for senators and national legislators ; but in on 
a senator of Connecticut of high character in the Congress, stated to a friend 
of mine, that he did not know that Great Britain had emancipated the slaves 
in her colonies. Another member of Congress, from the state of Ohio, 
declared that he did not know that slavery had been abolished in the "West 
Indies. Another gentleman, in the state of New York, a gentleman who 
habitually read the newspapers of the day, and was so wealthy that he kept 
a splendid carriage, and would scarce be seen walking even from his house to 
an adjacent hotel, stated, while you were labouring to abolish the apprentice- 
ship system, that the real question was, the experiment of emancipation 
having proved a total failure in the "West Indies, you were now considering 
the propriety of restoring the former order of things. I referred this morning 
in my remarks on the literature of Great Britain, to the writings of Htjme 
and of others, who are supposed to have been latitudinarian in their religious 
principles. I alluded to them, not as approving of all their principles, but 
as men, who in their writings have recognised the principles of freedom, and 
whose works are extensively read in America ; and we say, let your literature, 
be its religious character what it may, let it all be embued with anti-slavery 
principles. The writings of Lord Brougham on the question of general 
education have spread far and wide in our land ; let such publications recog- 
nise our principles, and thus ignorance will be removed from the minds of 
thousands. As things now are, the American people are very ignorant of 
British public sentiment. "We have men who will argue cogently, and fight to 
the very hilt, on our frontier in Maine, about a few pine logs, who are totally 
ignorant of that glorious experiment which is exciting the admiration of 
Europe, the emancipation of the negroes in the West Indies. Some natives 
of the United States, two or three years since, visited the West Indies for 
the benefit of their health ; and when they witnessed the results of emanci- 
pation, aud the numerous advantages connected with free labour, they felt 



129 

invigorated in their inner man, as well as in their physieal powers ; they 
noted down all they saw and heard, and when they returned they published 
them. They were all ineontrovertible facts— facts as palpable as the peak of 
Teneriffe — but they were not received because they were regarded as anti- 
slavery fictions. Give us, theu, the declarations of your Dukes of Sussex, 
and the writings of your Lords Broug-ham, and they will be reeeived. 
Though we are a nation of demoerats, yet we are very fond of titles, and 
we have our D. D.'s, and our LL. D.'s, our Honorables, and our Excellencies, 
and opinions endorsed by great names and high souuding titles, will greatly 
influenee even republiean America. 

Mr. BBADBUBN. — I agree with my friend who has preceded me, 
that great ignorance prevails in Amei-iea as to the proceedings and senti- 
ments of those in this country, who advocate the abolitiou of the slave-trade 
and of slavery. I doubt, however, if real ignorauce on these points is so 
general as he has given you reason to suppose. Many know the truth well 
enough, hut are not willing to aeknowledge it. They also know their duty in 
the premises, but are not willing to do it. There are others, and it is 
not a small class either, on our side of the water,— who have heard of, but 
have not remembered, the doctrines and doings of the British abolitionists. 
They have heard them explained often enough, and for the time being were 
well enough satisfied of their soundness, but have straightway forgotten all 
about the matter. They are much like a good old woman, with whom a meta- 
physical friend of mine was wont to converse on the philosophy of sugar. He 
used to tell her that sugar of itself was not sweet ; that that quality in it, 
which we eall sweetuess, was but a certain sensation produced by the aetion 
of certain partieles of matter, peculiarly organized, upon the nerves of feeling. 
This explanation, when given, was always quite clear to the good woman ; 
yet the very next time of meeting my friend, she would always exclaim, 
" Well, I believe sugar is sweet, after all." To persons of this sort, the faets 
aud opinions in relation to the anti-slavery enterprise, must needs be often 
repeated, to he fully impressed on their understandings. And in no way 
can this be more effeetually done, whether in respect of this, or of any other 
elass of persons opposed to our eause through ignorance or otherwise, than 
by the constant iteration and reiteration of those faets and opinions 
through the medium of the numerous periodical and other publications of 
Great Britain. It has beeu said, that iu Aineriea we are very fond of titles, 
and that we have a vast number of D. D.'s. Perhaps it is so, and the preva- 
lence of the latter may possibly be accounted for, from a simple fact. The 
theology of America— I mean of the slave-holding part of the country— is 
made to sanetion slavery, to teaeh, that slavery is an ordinance of God. 
And need it he said, that a system of divinity whieh sanctions such a com- 
plication of abominations as that of American slavery, must needs he sick, 
and therefore in need of doctors ? There are eertain points on which it strikes 
me, if I may throw out the suggestion here, that the able Eeviews of this 
country might enlarge with great profit to the cause in whieh we are engaged. 
I refer to the gross iuconsistencies iu which slavery involves Amerieans. Let 
their practiees be tried by their avowed theory ; the theory whieh is blazoned 
forth to the world in the preamble of our deelaration of Independence. 
That theory has been alluded to more than onee here to-day. Professedly, 
ours is a republican government. And what is the great idea of a republic ? Is 
it not this, that " governments derive their just powers from the consent of the 



eoverned," and that they shcnild be administered for the benefit of the whole 
neonle « Wherein does this differ from the idea of an autocracy ? Is it not 
chiefly in this, that the head of an autocracy professes to derive his ; power to 
eovern not from the consent of the governed, but directly from the 
Almighty % The autocrat, not less than the republican owns that govern- 
ment should be administered for the good of the public. I undertake to say, 
that the autocracy of Eussia, in its practical operation, is not wider rf the 
true idea of a republic, than is the government of our count ry Is it not, 
indeed a mockery, to call that a republic, in which one-sixth of the popula- 
tion are held in chains ? We have declared to the world, that « all men are 
created equal ; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalien- 
able rights ; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness 
This is our theory. What is our practice % We tread on the necks of nearly 
three millions of men, and buy and sell them like brute beasts in the sham- 
bles I have been told, that this horrible inconsistency was felt so forcibly 
by one of our 4th of July orators, that on reading the declaration, he 
attempted to get rid of it by a certain interpolation. « All men," said he "are 
created equal, except Htggen." And this is probably the meaning attached 
to the instrument by thousands who do not choose, like this 4th of July 
orator to express the exception. Take another of our inconsistencies, we 
have declared in the constitution of the United States, that there shall be no 
abridgment of the freedom of the press. Yet we have not, practically, as you 
have been told to-day, freedom of the press in America. Even m the national 
legislature, a law was proposed, and passed one branch of it, to prevent the 
circulation through the public mails, of all documents containing the self- 
evident truths " of our own declaration of independence. The law proposed to 
give power to postmasters, to rifle the mail bags, and commit such docu- 
ments to the flames. And not only has the circulation of the productions 
of the press in many parts of our country been prevented, and the pre- 
vention attempted to be enforced by a law of Congress ; but presses them- 
selvea have'beeu broken up with impnnity, at an expense too, m one instance 
at least, of humau life. In such a state of things, what folly to pretend there 
is or can be, « liberty of the press." Ours is claimed to be the only, or 
almost the only country, in which perfect freedom of religious opinion is 
enjoyed. We boast, that the pilgrim fathers of our land braved the 
dangers of the broad Atlantic, and the still greater dangers of the then 
savage wilderness of the western world, that they might establish, aud 
transmit, unimpaired to their posterity, this inestimable blessing. Yet 
we have no religions liberty in America. For what is religious liberty ? It is 
not simply the liberty to think : for the greatest tyrant that ever breathed 
could not prevent a solitary individual from thinking, if he chose to think. 
It implies something more. It implies liberty of expression. This liberty we 
do not possess in America. The grand object, therefore, in the pursuit of 
which our fathers abandoned the shores of Old England, and incurred so many 
hazards and hardships, has not yet been accomplished. A man may not, in 
one-half of America, utter his religious convictions on the subject of slavery, 
unless, forsooth, those convictions chance to be, that that institution is a 
" patriarchal" one. And yet we are boasting constantly of our religious 
liberty, and of our liberty of the press. Was there ever a greater ' 
tency? In the constitution of the United States, it is solemnly g 
that "the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and ii 
nities of citizens in the several states." Yet, notwithstanding this solemn 



u article 



131 

provision of the constitution, the citizen of a free state, having a coloured 
skin, no sooner sets his foot on the soil of a slave state, than he is robbed of 
all his "privileges and immunities," and reduced to the conditiou oi 
of merchandize! As I have remarked, ou a former occas 
robberies of this description are perpetrated annually in the slave states of 
America ; and they are sanctioned by legal enactments of the legislatures of 
those states. A friend of mine, some two or three years since, in walking- the 
streets of New Orleans, fell in with six or eight free coloured persons, some of 
whom had been in his own employment iu the state of New York. They 
were in chaiu gangs-that is, gangs of persous employed on the public roads, 
each with a ball chained to his leg. They were to be continued in that 
situation for twelve months from the time of euteriug it, and if not pre- 
viously able to prove, by the testimony of a white man, that they were not 
brutes, that they were freemen, to be sold into perpetual bondage. My friend, 
being a liberal man, obtained their release, but it was at considerable expense' 
This is but a single instance of thousands of cases, which, I have already said, 
occur in my own country annually. And these terrible' outrages upon the 
rights of our free coloured citizens, sanctioned by slave holdiug statutes, are in 
palpable violation of the letter of the constitution of the United States'. But 
these kidnapping statutes of the slave states in general, atrocious as they are 
are exceeded iu atrocity by one enacted a little more than a year since by the 
legislature of the state of Alabama, and which, I believe, has been referred to 
by Mr. Birnet. By the former, the coloured man, who had proved his freedom 
by the requisite evidence, and paid the expenses of his arrest was permitted to 
return to his family; but by the latter, even from the first moment of its 
enactmeut, any scoundrel within the limits of Alabama might seize upon a 
free person of colour found there, and reduce him to irremedial and perpe- 
tual slavery. They wiU not allow him the wretched privilege of proving his 
freedom, paying the charges, and taking his own body away. When the fact 
of the passing of this law was communicated to me, I chanced to be address- 
ing the legislature of my own native state. I did not hesitate to say, in my 
place, that if all the demons of perdition had been let loose upon the earth, 
and formed into a legislature, it would have beeu impossible for them to have 
perpetrated so great an outrage upon the inalienable rights of humanity • for 
according to the doctrines of demouology, devils even are not permitted to' 
lay violent hauds upon innocent men. But, in addition to all this legal kid- 
napping—made legal by slave-holding legislators, but iZ-legal by the paramount 
law, the constitution of the land— there is not a little carried on, which, with 
what some will perhaps deem a strange inconsistency, is condemned by the 
laws of slave-holding states themselves. The slave-holding power, legal or 
illegal, stretches its long claws even into the free states, and clutches children 
from the very hearthstones of then- free parents, hurries them off clandes- 
tinely to the slave states, and sells them into everlasting bondage. And the 
cases of this illegal stealing of children, for the slave shambles of the south, 
are neither few nor far between. Such are a few of the enormous, wicked 
inconsistencies in which slavery involves the republicans of North America. 
Let them be seized and treated as they deserve to be, by the literary men 
and women of Great Britain. . Let them be held up in your newspapers, in 
your great reviews, and other publications, to the hatred of all Europe, aye, 
to the execration of the civilized world. Aud while yon spare not these or 
any other such abominable inconsistencies, I would beseech you to be 
K 2 



132 

merciful as you can to their pseudo-republican authors. I hope that the 
periodicals of Great Britain will also take some pains to hold up in their true 
light certain persons in America, who call themselves abolitionists, but who 
never do anything for the cause, except to find fault with its active friends. 
In the free states almost every man now will say, that he is an abolitionist ; 
but many, who say so, will at the same time take great care to condemn our 
measures, if not our doctrines, and all or nearly all, who are doing anything for 
the cause'; and are in fact, among the worst enemies against whom we have 
to do. They call themselves abolitionists, aud profess to feel deeply for the 
perishing bondman, because they do not wish to avow themselves so utterly 
hostile to liberty and humanity, as a direct acknowledgment of the fact would 
proclaim them to be. But a few days before I came to this country, ou 
meeting one of this sort of abolitionists, I said to him," Sir, did you ever hear 
the story of the boy and the calf 2 I will tell it to you. An intelligent boy 
was looking at a calf, in the presence of his father. ' Father,' mqmred the 
lad, ' calling the tail one, how many legs would the calf have 2 ' ' Why, my 
son,' replied the father, < that is a very simple question ; it would have five, to 
be sure ' ' Not at all,' rejoined the lad, ' not at all, father, catting the tail a 
leg, would not make it one.' " Bo, my friends, let us say to this sort of aboli- 
tionists ; calling yourselves abolitionists, will not make you such. [Borne in 
the audieuce not understanding the anecdote, requested Mr. B. to repeat it, 
Mr. B. said] I dislike to repeat an anecdote to the same audieuce. But I will 
give you another, equally applicable, perhaps, to the same sort of persons. 
They remind me of the good old woman's son, John, « My son, John," she 
said, "is the most tender-hearted boy I ever knew, ask him to pick up a 
basket of chips, and he'll cry." The abolitionists in questiou are also very 
tender-hearted ; they feel deeply for the poor slave, and are especially con- 
cerned lest his cause should be injured by the overwrought zeal and earnest- 
ness of its principal advocates ; but the moment yon ask one of them to do some- 
thing himself for the cause, why, like John, he begins to complain, begins 
to " cry." We call ou Englishmen to « come over aud help us," convert 
these tender-hearted abolitionists to a sense of the importance of doing some- 
thing for the slave's deliverance. We do not urge you to come in person, but 
come to us in the columns of your daily press, in the pages of your books, of 
your novels and romances even, in your poetry, and in your noble reviews, 
which are read and reverenced in every town and village throughout the 
length aud breadth of our whole land. But you will be told by slave-holders 
and then- apologists, that America, as a nation, has nothing to do with the 
subject of slavery, not even in the district of Columbia ; that when that 
district was ceded to the geueral government by the states of Maryland and 
Virginia, it was done in the confident expectation that that government would 
not "abolish slavery in that district. Thus, they say, Congress is under an 
« implied faith," not to interfere with it. But there are certain important 
facts in relation to this matter, which ought never to be lost sight of. At the 
time of the adoption of the American constitution, it was universally expected, 
both in the slave and nou-slave states, that half a century wonld uot elapse, 
before every state in the Union would put an end to slavery within its 
own limits. But for this universal expectation, that instrument never would 
have received the sanction of a majority of the states. This is very evident, 
I think, as well from the general history of the times in which the constitution 
was formed and adopted, as from the debates in the conventions of the 



several states aeeeding to it. So that upon the same principles of n 
adopted by those who urge this objection, does it not clearly follow, that every 
slave state in the Union is now under " an implied faith," a solemn obligation 
to put an end to slavery within its own limits \ Certainly, this is the legiti- 
mate, the necessary inference. And if the several states would redeem this 
implied pledge, then, according to the showing of these objectors, Congress 
might terminate it in the district of Columbia also. This is the way in which 
I deem it proper to treat this matter of " an implied faith j" though it were a 
sufficient reply, to say, that the constitution itself; in express words, gives to 
Congress " exclusive jurisdiction in all cases whatsoever" over that district, 
and of course, over slavery. I desire especially that our British friends will 
labour to produce such an impression on the clergy of our country, as will 
induce them to act in behalf of humanity. "We often have British clergymen 
visiting our country. These, though good abolitionists here, have usually, it 
grieves me to say, left their abolitionism at home on going to America ; or 
have been induced by their brethren on the other side of the water, to keep 
quiet on the subject; so that our pro-slavery enemies have quoted them 
against us, and they have really supported tbe atrocious system of slavery, by 
withholding their testimony against it. The inference usually drawn from 
their course among us, is this, that there, the British clergy, are no more than 
the Americau, in favour of emaucipation ; for if they were, it has been said, 
they would unite with the abolitionists, aud lift up their voice against slavery. 
You cannot therefore, I am sorry to say, boast that the hands of your own 
clergy are free from the stain of slavery. Let it be so no longer. And I beseech 
you to send forth by your own clergy, crossing the water, the voice of earnest,, 
affectionate remonstrance, both against slavery, and against the awful silence 
respecting it by the clergy of America. If we could only get the 17,000 
ministers in our land— to say nothiug of their churches— right upon this 
subject, it would give the monster slavery a blow, that would send him stag- 
gering to his own place. 

Mr. I. OREWDSON.— Do you confine those remarks to clergymen of the 
Church of England ? 

Mr. BRADBURN.— I do not. I know not that the ministers of any sect, 
not excepting that of Friends, are exempt from all application of my re- 
marks. But if they will come and speak out in behalf of the inalienable 
rights of humau nature, they will do us good. They will do something to 
rescue Christianity from the deep disgrace into which the different sects both 
of England and of America have sunk it, in withholding their denunciation of 
the sin of slavery. It has been asserted even by some who call themselves 
abolitionists, that the New Testament sanctions slavery; but I, for one, 
utterly deny that it affords the least pretext for slavery, accordiug to the 
definition of that term in America — namely, the holding of property in man. 
Are you not aware that divines and philosophers are not only apologizing for 
slavery in onr country, but have united, to an alarming extent, to maintain 
that it is a good institution, lying at the very basis of republicanism, and must, 
in order to rescue the country from perdition, become universal 2 Such is the 
fact,andlhave here extracts from the observations of various distinguished per- 
souages in America to prove it. J. C. Calhoun, who has been faithfully described 
by your illustrious O'Connell, says, that this condition of slavery is but an 
universal condition, and that slaves are in a condition every way preferable 
to that of the labouring men in any other country. In the college of William 



134 

and Mary, founded by Jefferson, who was an abolitiouist in sentiment, though 
he held slaves, and who exhorted one of your own Doctors of Divinity to visit 
America, and do what George Thompson came to do, that is, to attack the 
system of slavery, and endeavour to persuade the people to abandon it, a pro- 
fessor in that College tells us, "the hirelings who perform all the menial offices 
of life, cannot and will not be treated as equals by their employers. How cau 
he get wisdom that holdeth the plough, that glorieth in the goad, that driveth 
oxen,and is occupied in labours, and whose talk is of bullocks." Here is a pro- 
fessor in one of our first Colleges, teaching doctrines diametrically opposite to 
all the principles on which our free institutions are professedly based I 
should have supposed, from the ideas thrown out by some of the members of the 
Convention, that there was nothing of this kind, that slavery was generally 
admitted to be an evil; but George Mc. Duffje has said, that "domestic 
slavery is the corner stone of our republican edifice," the only thing which 
can supersede the necessity of an established order of nobility, and save the 
country from perdition ; and he invokes God, that none of his children may 
ever live where the noble institution of domestic slavery does not exist. 
These are the doctrines taught in our country, by some of our distinguished 
men There was a time, when men in America would have been ashamed to 
utter such doctrines, when a man uttering them would have been scoffed at, 
even as some are uow scoffed at for uttering the self-evident and glorious 
truths of the declaration of independence. What has occasioned this change , I 
It seems to me it is to be accounted for in this way. Formerly, there seemed 
to certain slave-holders, to be no hope of emancipation, or at least, that no one 
would urge it on them as a duty ; and then they said, that slavery was a great 
evil, that they would gladly get rid of it, if they could, but that being impos- 
sible at present, they must endure it with what patient resignation they 
,.„■ i.i. ,.,: since the partial working out of the grand experiment m the 
West India islands, they find themselves robbed of this excuse ; you have 
proved to them that emancipation is practicable, and not only practicable, 
but entirely safe also. They must now either acknowledge themselves to be 
scoundrels, or give up their hold on this human property, or maintain that 
slavery is right, that it is a good and a Christian institution. They choose to 
do the last, and by that decision let them abide if they can. It is the position 
taken in the extracts which I have read; and many other such extracts I 
mio-ht read, were it necessary or desirable. But I have occupied more time 
than I intended; and thanking the audience for the kind indulgence with 
which they have listened to my remarks, I will now take my seat. 

Kev Dr HOBY.— I rise to make an inquiry. I do so, from a deep solicitude 
that no statements should be made in this room, especially by sound aboli- 
tionists fron Lea, v hich should neutralize their influence ou the other 
side of the water. I am greatly afraid, that notwithstanding all the eloquence 
and all the pathos with which the last speaker has addressed us, some of his 
remarks will neutralize the whole of his address. I will speak of inysetf per- 
sonally, and I will appeal to Mr. Georoe Thompson, who will be authority 
here, whether there was a single instance of a gentleman, as far south as 
I travelled, who on any occasion entertained a suspicion that I was not 
an abolitionist. The gentleman who spoke last says, that they suffered from 
my not being an abolitionist, or being indifferent about the cause. It that 
goes forth across the Atlantic, there are so many who knew me and my 
o well, that I am persuaded it will greatly enfeeble the statement 



135 

lie lias made. I wish to know whether he abides by the statement, that I was 
supposed not to be an abolitionist, or that I was indifferent to the cause of 
abolition. He made the statement, and I wish for an explanation. 

Mr. BRADBURN.— Let me say, Mr. Chairman, that in the remarks I 
have made, I have had no reference to any particular person or persons. I was 
not aware, at the time of making them, that the Rev. Doctor who has just sat 
down, was in the Hall, or indeed, that there were present any clergymen who 
had visited America. They were general, and applicable, in my opinion, to 
all, or nearly all clergymen who have been to our country from Great Britain. 
But since Dr. Hoby has alluded to his visit to America, I will take the liberty 
to state, that I have a brother in America, who is a Baptist, and who at the 
time Dr. Hoby was there, was not an abolitionist. I conversed with him on 
the course which Dr. Hoby had seen fit to take in relation to this subject, 
while in our country. It was the opinion of my brother, that Dr. Hoby' re- 
garded the anti-slavery movement in America as a political affair, and there- 
fore deemed it improper for himself, a foreigner, to interfere with it ; or, that 
his taking an active interest in it, might destroy or diminish his means of 
usefulness, in the denominatiou of Christians to which he and his colleague 
had been deputed ; or, in fine, that although Dr. Hoby might be a very good 
abolitionist in the abstract, as most of our enemies profess to be, yet he was 
not much of one in the concrete, that is, in practice. This, I say, was the im- 
pression of my brother, whom, at the time, I was anxious to engage in the 
ie of immediate emancipation. I could wish it proved that he was wrong 









COLONEL MILLER.— I should not rise at this late hour did I not feel it 
to be a solemn duty. "Without entering iuto any personalities, I wish to 
state to this assembly, that the various bodies of professing Christians in 
America are owners of slaves. The Baptists hold 100,000 ; the religious sect to 
which I have the honour to beloug, the Weslcyan Methodists, hold 90,000. 
The Presbyterians hold 80,000, and so on. "With the exception of one or two 
sects, there are slaves held by all professing Christians, and by them are 
liable to be bought and sold every day. It has been well said on this 
floor to-day, that our sects of religionists have been derived from those of 
Great Britain, with the exception of two, which have originated on the 
other side of the Atlantic. To mark the influence which British Christians 
have exerted on America, I call attention to John Wesley,' the founder of 
Methodism. He laid down the rule that no dealer in slaves should have com- 
munion in the Methodist Episcopal church. But this barrier has been thrown 
down and ridden over triumphantly. I beg to call your attention to a state- 
ment made by a distinguished Methodist minister in our country at the pre- 
sent day. I allude to the Rev. Mr. Wimans, of Mississippi, who in the 
general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, in 1836, said, that not 
only stewards, and class leaders, and preachers, but even bishops in that 
church ought to be slave-holders. And he strongly urged, that the con- 
ference should elect, at that very session, one or more slave-holding bishops. 
This was done for the express purpose of bolstering up the institution, aud 
bidding defiance to the influence of abolitionists. You talk to professed 
Christians on the inconsistency of holding slaves, and they immediately refer 
you to Paul's letter to Philemon, in which, speaking of Onesimus, he 
calls him " a brother beloved ;" and then call your attention to the commen- 
tator Scott, who says that Onesimus was a run-away slave, and that Paul 



136 

returned him to his master. I am sorry to say, that there is not one of these 
commentators who strikes directly at the root of slavery. If men would 
hut take the Bihle as the rule and guide of their faith, it would lead to 
nuiversal piety and freedom. If ministers from this country should agaiu 
visit America, and they are champions iu the cause of aholition, I heg of 
them to show it. Let it he known, that we have a great and important 
liattle to fight. In former days, when the standard of the revolutionary 
fathers floated in the breeze, seutiments of liberty rang from pulpit to pulpit, 
and were uttered by the best and the noblest divines. Some persons have 
given them no credit for it, alleging that they were placed between two 
fires. Their conduct, however, showed that it was a spirit emanating from 
that God, whose precepts and commands they taught to their fellow-men. I 
will give you an instance of that spirit iu New England. There was an emi- 
nent divine of the name of Hopkins, a doctor of divinity. He felt that he 
could not pray for the blessing of God on the American arms, unless he libe- 
rated his slaves, and he did it. A gentleman inquired, whether he had 
manumitted his slaves. He replied, " all but one ; he is so happy, so con- 
tented, that I could not get him to have his freedom." " How do you 
know 2" " He is one of the oddest fellows you ever saw." " Would you give 
him his liberty if it would increase his happiness 2" " Yes." " Call him in." 
" Do you love your master, and mistress, and family 2" " Yes, I have every- 
thing I want." " But should you be more happy if you had your liberty 2" 
" I should." " Take it then." This led to the foundation of the manumission 
which took place in seven states of the union. Unfortunately we began at 
the wrong end — we begau pulling the coat by the tail. We went for gradual 
mauumission, and the slave-holders stole our birthright. Taking advantage 
of the rise iu the price of cotton, he gradually insinuated his principles that 
slavery was au institution of God. He advanced step by step, with that insi- 
diousness with which an enemy enters a citadel, till in 1833, amid the pesti- 
lence of the green mountains, 1 we found that our churches and ministers 
were opposed to abolition. We were told that if immediate abolition were 
granted, the slave would cut his master's throat. We watched the progress 
of abolition iu the West India islands. We knew how you advanced in that 
cause, and we fondly hoped that the moment slavery was destroyed there, it 
would cease with us. But mark the progress. Oue gentleman said to a 
slave-holder, * Do you see how freedom in the West Indies operates \ instead 
of shedding blood, the negroes on the 1st of August, 1834, fall down ou their 
knees and bless God for their deliverance." " Oh ! it is doubtful — I doubt 
it," was the reply. " But cannot you read the accounts 2" " Oh, they are 
very apt to overdraw these things. Depend upon it, Great Britain has some 
design upon us ; she has emancipated her slaves for the purpose of destroying 
our liberties." This was the effect, and it will be the effect. I say it 
here, and I know there would not he a dissenting voice to it on the shores 
of America ; that could the clergy who stand now like pillars under the 
institutions of slavery, be brought to aekuowledge that slavery is a sin before 
God, the mighty fabric would come down more speedily than the temple 
under which Samson put his shoulders, and from which he pulled away the 
pillars. It is all in vain to talk to the slave-owner. It is the uorthem Chris- 
tians who support slavery. A minister from the southern states, writes to a 
friend in the north, K My dear Sir, I shall visit yon on the third Sabbath. 
On Saturday night I shall, with the leave of Providence, be iu your city." 



137 

He arrives at the appointed time, aud what says his friend ? " I am happy to 
sec yon. How is your family ? How is your dear wife ? How are the chil- 
dren ?" He never asks a word about the slaves. " I hope you will give us a 
discourse : our people were so pleased with you the last time you were here." 
What was the subject of the discourse ? On the necessity of infent baptism, 
or some topic of that description ; not a word about the sin of the men who 
hold property in the state to the amount of many thousand dollars secured on 
slaves. But in our churches we have begun to inquire, " My dear Sir, how 
is your wife ? How are your children ? How are those human beings whom 
you formerly called goods and chattels? I trust you have cut the cord 
asunder ; that they stand in the relation of men and of hired servauts. I 
would invite you to my pulpit, but my people have made up their mind, that 
he who robs his fellow-men of their liberty, cannot have access to that 
pulpit." This will be our course if you sustain ns in the position we have 
taken. I trust that you will do it ? I know that you will do it, by what 
I see here. The present American representative to this country told as pal- 
pable a falsehood in the eyes of this nation, and his own, as was ever uttered 
by mau, when he said, that he did not beloug to a slave-holding state. Not 
three years ago, a mother belonging to the Baptist connexion, who had three 
children by her husband, who was a freeman, was sold to a slave-dealer, 
who put her into one of the gaols of Washington with her children. An indi- 
vidual passing by heard their shrieks, he rushed in, and found two of the 
children lying dead, with their throats cut, and she was attempting to grapple 
with the third. When asked what she was doing, she replied, " I am sending 
the children to that Almighty Being who gave them me, rather than have 
them go to the south where I shall never see them again." 

CAPTAIN STUART.— Having lately been in the United States, and 
travelled extensively through the state of New York, I have repeatedly had 
this question put to me ; " Cannot you get the English ministers of the 
Protestant church, when they come here to be as good abolitiouists, as 
they are in England." My conviction and experience go with those of our 
deai- American brethren, in affirming that the niiuisters from England, who 
visit the United States, are among the most powerful supporters of the slave 
system in that land. I know they do not intend to be so. 

Rev. Dr. COX. — My name having been mentioued, in allusion to depu- 
tations that have been seut to the United States, I must claim to be heard 
in a few words of observation on what has passed. I have traversed many 
parts of America, ou a visit to Christian churches, and stand connected with 
it by endearing associations. As one of the parties in question, I feel assured 
that my character is unblemished, and I am not ashamed of my intercourse 
with that laud, or of my long course of proceeding in my own. On this 
ground I take a firm stand, and though by no means disposed to enter into 
any thing like a private question on this occasion, yet I caunot help appealing 
agaiust the gross personalities which have been introduced into this Con- 
vention. I honour and love America ; but in a Convention like this, where 
great and important questious are to be discussed, it is not competent for an 
individual to wander from them into these personal allusions. Let me be 
fairly called forward, and I am ready to defend my actions, and doubtless 
others involved in the insinuations can defend theirs. That gentleman, (Mr. 
BiiADBuiiu) with all the respect I wish to entertain for him, I must say has 
been guilty of gross personalities, and has stated what I know to be con- 



138 

trary to the fact, when he said that the gentlemen commissioned to go from 
this country to America, on errands of love and mercy, did not dare to touch 
the anti-slavery question— did not speak against slavery in the United States. 
I am compelled to say for myself, that though fully convinced at the time, 
that I was best promoting this cause, by not appearing on oue particular 
occasion, to which special allusion is doubtless made, yet when I found 
myself hi a position, in which I thought it was right and proper to stand 
forth on this subject, I unhesitatingly availed myself of it. That was at an 
anti-slavery meeting in the state of Vermont. On that occasion, I not only 
spoke, but brought forward a resolution on the subject ; and the speech 
delivered on that occasion was published in almost every paper, of which I 
heard, and could, therefore, scarcely have escaped that gentleman's observation. 
He is not justifiable in his statements, when he must know, to speak of nothing 
further, that this very speech was circulated through America, and was as 
strong in the anti-slavery cause as any he has himself delivered. He ought 
then to retract his remarks, and not to throw opprobrium on individual cha- 
racter, by sweeping and unsustained criminations. Still less so, when he must, 
or may know, that I in common with others present, stand in active co-ope- 
ration with a missionary society, which has been distinguished among the first 
and foremost, to say the least, in this work, and has been the great instrument 
of the demolition of slavery in the West Indies. That glorious achievement 
has been effected by Christianity, and it is Christianity which must civilize 
and save the world. Let it never be forgotten, that it has been the Christiau 
Missionary Societies which have stood forward and accomplished the great 
enterprise. I entreat our American friends not to infuse into their speeches 
those personalities, which will obstruct the progress of their own cause, and 
which will have a tendency to destroy their influence, where it is desirable 
they should secure it in large portions of the American commuuity. 

Mr BBADBUBN.— In justice to the gentleman who has just sat down, 
I feel I ought to say, that in the remarks I made, I had not the slightest 
possible reference to him, or to any other person in the Convention. My 
remarks, as I said at the time, applied to the clergy geuerally, of all sects, 
visiting our country. There were, I know, some exceptions. I now remember 
the speech which the Rev. Doctor made when in the state of Vermont ; and 
I remember saying to a friend, how deeply I regretted that it was not made 
nearer to Mason and Dixon's line. 

Bev J KEEP (delegate for Ohio, U. S.)— I had intended to offer my 
sentiments at length, on the subject now before the Convention, but as 
most I expected to communicate has, by my beloved countrymen who have 
preceded me in this discussion, been already giveu, and as I earnestly desire 
that the most important business before us may not be retarded by a repe- 
tition, I shall merely suggest a very few thoughts. We need to check 
ourselves in a meeting like this, when each of .its five hundred members 
is in the possessiou of facts, and argument, and thought, which it would 
take him hours to preseut. I am deeply awed by the fact, that seldom, if 
ever, has a deliberative assembly been convened under circumstances more 
deeply solemn and interesting than those which now attend us. I rejoice at 
the great unanimity which has thus far characterized our proceedings. I am 
gratified that so favourable an opportunity has occurred for the frank, full, 
and unvarnished disclosures now made respecting American slavery, though 
most painful and revolting, because the remedy can never be applied till the 



real nature and exteut of the disease be known, and because it is high time 
that the covering should be removed, aud the true character of the Aineriean 
slave system be exposed. But this disclosure presents things in an aspect so 
astounding, that those who make it, especially in a foreign land, and in the 
hearing of those who may be glad that republican institutions should be 
encumbered, are liable to the imputation of a want of patriotism, and 
designedly giving a picture, which shall make their native and loved country 
odious in the eyes of all Europe. I can assure you that no class of men are more 
ardent in their love of country than those who feel constrained to speak thus 
plainly of the giant sin of the giant republic of the Western hemisphere. I 
regret also, that it should appear, in this Couvention, that any collision exists 
either among American or British abolitionists, lest those who staud aloof 
from our holy enterprise, or are in heart inimical towards it, should be misled 
in regard to the wisdom and efficiency of our measures, and the certain 
triumph in the result to which we are hastening ; overlookiug the fact that 
men whose hearts are deeply imbued with the love of liberty, and who have 
vowed to abide by the doctrine of equal human rights, will never swerve from 
their principles, or abandon them, although in some of the details in their 
operations, they may wax warm in their advocacy of different views. Such 
collisions, however, serve to exhibit some of the difficulties which attend the 
abolition of slavery. You are thus led to see how the scaly and slimy monster 
has entwined himself around almost all the iuterests of the Christian com- 
munity in both hemispheres ; and as light pours in upon the wrongs inflicted 
upon the black man, you will see that tyranny in opinion and practice on 
other subjects, and in respect to other matters, invites the faithful ordeal of 
a righteous reformation. The sundering of the bonds of the slave, cannot but 
disclose the odium of oppressiou in other forms ; and a delegation of so much 
intelligence, as is found in the present corps of disciplined abolitionists, 
should uot be surprised if a brother is seen to step out a little further, and 
with less timidity, in the work of reform than meets existing views of the 
great mass. If none stretch on iu advauce, the reformation is wanting in the 
best proof of its genuineness. Let the interchaugc of sentiment be free and 
frank, let the discussion be untrammelled, let there be no fear of looking at 
truth, and of promptly and fearlessly following its dictates, and our work will 
be onward, while, in all its features, it shall commend itself to the consciences 
of the good and the intelligent, and in its progress, command the admiration 
of the wise, and the homage even of its detractors. From the statements 
now given, the British public are becoming better and more extensively 
acquainted with American character, and especially with the enormities of the 
American slave system ; while, on the other hand, we too are becoming better 
informed respecting the English character, and the details of that mighty 
movement, which has achieved the deliverance of 800,000 captives, and 
declares its purpose to hold on in the work, till the oppressed of every 
clime, are in the possession of their inalienable rights. In the meantime, 
the whole phalanx of abolitionists may rest in the assurance that, while 
they themselves are fallible, their principles are infallible; that difficulties 
in the way are to be overcome, and that their union against the common 
enemy is the indubitable presage of their final conquest. There are circum- 
stances counected With American slavery which are peculiar. It has existed 
there from the earliest settlement of the country. The very year which 
witnessed the landing of the pilgrim fathers in Massachusetts Bay, witnessed 



a be effected 



140 

also the landing in the Virginia colony of a Dutch ship, freighted with negroes 
stolen from Africa, and who were sold as daces. Thus the two antagonist 
principles were coeval, the one of slavery, the other of liberty; liberty in the 
north, slavery in the south ; and from that hour, the black man m that 
country has been universally considered as of an inferior race, aud doomed to 
be the slave to the white man. Slavery has thus existed iu the view of the 
whole American community, the people from geueration to generation have 
been familiar with the fact and its details, and came almost as a matter of 
course to look upon slavery imposed upon a black mau, as no kind of infringe- 
ment upon his personal rights. Hence too, the existence of the prejudice 
against colour which imposes cruel and extended disabilities upon the free 
coloured men. It is not, therefore, so unaccountable, as it might at first seem 
to be, that the American community should very geuerally be iuseusible to 
the real and full enormities of the slave system. Nor should we forget the 
power of habit, however wrong, to keep back the mind from the candid 
reception of the truth. While this is no justification of the wrong, it shows us 
that we should allow a little time for the change in public sentiment, and not 
oive up a man or a commuuity as hopeless, because somewhat slow or loth m 
the abandonment of the wrong. Slavery in the northern states has diffused 
its influence for ages over all the ramifications of society, civil, ) 
commercial, political, and literary. Its removal, therefore, c 
only by an entire change of public sentiment in all these aspects. I am not 
surprised at the pain and astonishment so generally felt in this Convention, in 
view of the fact, that the ministers and the churches in America so extensively 
and efficiently sustain slavery. I do not believe that my colleagues have over- 
drawn this fact. It is my deliberate convictiou, and as such I proclaim it on 
this floor, that the churches and the ministry in America are the strongest 
supports of our accursed and most ab ominable slave system. Beyond question, 
if ministers of the different denominations would withdraw their influence, 
and make their pidpits utter tU truth upon slavery, the churches would soou go 
with them; the slave-holder would feel the power of convictiou, and shivery 
itself would expire. Yes, Mr. President, guilty as my country is by reason 
of its slavery, I feel assured of the fact, and I rejoice to publish it here, that 
such is the influence of moral sentiment upon and over the entire American 
community, that if the ministers of the gospel iu it were but united m then- 
denunciation of slavery, it would die a natural death in a very few years, and 
our three millions of slaves would stand up before the nation a regenerated, 
disenthralled race of industrious citizens, and happy freemeu. Would that 
my brethren understood this matter rightly, and would act up to then- 
responsibility. In America, yon see the influence of slavery upon Christians, 
and its character amidst Christian institutions. Iu no other commuuity was 
its character ever so bad, or its atrocities ever so vile. The more you come 
in contact with its influence amoug and upon Christians, the more will you see 
of the malignity of its spirit, and the more dearly will you perceive the 
difficulties of removing it from American society. The very persons who 
hold in their hands the power to remove it are the very same who love and 
iustify the system. If it was a great work for British freemen who never had 
the evil mingling in their society to remove slavery from distant colonies; how 
much greater the work for American freemen to remove their slavery, which 
from the begiuning of their days has diffused its baneful influence over the 
whole body. I allude to this for the purpose of arresting attcntiou to the 



141 

extraordinary disclosures made to-day, and to induce the philanthropist and 
the Christian to contemplate the spirit of slavery in its real malignity, and in 
its most revolting bearings. All sueh are solemnly bound to wateh this 
malignant spirit and to weep and to pray over its ravages. Sueh a spirit 
beeonies extinet only under the influence of prayer and fasting. The occa- 
sion whieh has called us together, the objeet we would attain, and the 
diselosures whieh are now in progress before ns, all eonspire to impress upon 
my mind the necessity of a more spiritual and entire eonseeration to God. 
The men who would eonquer slavery when it beeomes entrenched amidst Chris- 
tian institutions, and secure a generous and permanent triumph to the 
principles of human rights, need themselves to be thoroughly imbued with 
the spirit of truth in its purity and love. The prejudice against colour is so 
deeply rooted and inveterate iu the Ameriean mind, that the black man, 
though free, is not permitted a plaee in our seminaries of learning, nor the 
opportunity of learning a trade, nor the enjoyment .of eivil, religious, and 
soeial benefits common to all but himself. If it were necessary to add to the 
mass of facts already before the Convention, I eould give some very affeeting 
eases of injury which have oeeurred under my personal notiee. What ought 
we to say and do, when the presidents of eolleges and theological seminaries, 
deelare to pious, talented, and aeeomplished young men who are anxious for 
edueation ; — yon eannot be reeeived here, because you have a blaek skin, we 
eannot proteet you in our college, beeause you are a negro. Alas ! for the land 
where sueh things exist. Alas ! for its Christianity, when the colour of the 
skin is made the test of merit, and the ground of rejection from the benefits of 
a theologieal seminary. In one of our theologieal seminaries, its direetors so 
far yielded to this prejudiee against eolour and the dietation of the slave 
spirit, as aetually to pass an ordiuanee, prohibiting the students, though young 
men of adult years, aud within a few mouths to go out as preachers, from any 
discussion of the subjeet of slavery and from any action for its removal, or 
for the improvement of the degraded eoloured people in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood. A servile eomplianee with this requisition was the eondition of 
their eontinuance in the seminary. Forty of these young men thus restricted, 
promptly and manfully sent in their protest, aecompanied with a request for 
letters of dismission. Liberty was given, and they retired in disgust and in 
grief, from this scene of tyranny. As the result of this movement, a new 
seminary was commenced, to whieh the blaek man is invited, and where he is 
reeeived to the full enjoyment of the same and equal privileges with the white 
man, and where freedom of diseussion is untrammelled. This new institution 
now numbers 400 students, and is putting forth a happy and powerful influ- 
enee in favour of the slave, in support of righteous principles, and for the 
elevation of the eoloured mau, and is a powerful auxiliary in the Ameriean 
anti-slavery enterprise. Its establishment constitutes an era of the eountry. 
Now, at least, oue eollege in the republie of Ameriea furnishes a home for the 
black man. A minister of my aequaintauee, aud a kuown abolitionist, was 
invited to take the pastoral eharge of a eongregation, in whieh few enter- 
tained the same opinions with himself, upon slavery. But they well knew his 
sentiments, for he freely avowed them, though he did not diseuss the subjeet 
of slavery upon the Sabbath. In about ten weeks a public meeting was 
ealled to inquire what eourse should be taken in respeet to the minister. 
" What is the difiieulty?" inquires a friend at this public meeting. It was 
replied, " our minister brings slavery into the pulpit, and we are dissatisfied." 



142 

"Does he preach about it on the Sabbath?" " No, but he prays about it." 
"How?" "He prays that the slave may have his liberty. We are willing , 
our minister should pray that the slaves may go to heaven, but we are not 
willing that he should pray that they may have their freedom." This is a 
specimen of feeling among American Christians extensively on this subject. 
A minister from America, of high stauding and great influence, was a few years 
since, present at a meeting in London in favour of religious freedom. On a 
subsequent evening, and in a large company he was asked, how did you like 
the meeting last evening ? Very well, he replied, with some comments ; and 
then warmly congratulated himself and his country, upou the fact, that uo 
such society or discussions were necessary in the United States, where all 
have their liberty both of speech and action, without any law-established 
religion. A brother minister addressed him, saying, "Well, I am glad to hear 

that, Dr. , I now conclude that slavery is abolished in America, is it not V As 

soon as he could recover from the confusion which a question so pertinent and 
just, occasioned him, all he said in reply was, « Why, I never thought of the 
slaves." So it is, not a few of the ministers seem never to think of slavery,, 
or of those who are ground to death under its unmitigated cruelties. Facts 
like these indicate the public sentiment of the country, and show the nature 
and difficulties of the work which the abolitionists of America have begun. 
While I am sure that the contest commenced must be severe, and that much 
of the labour must be of a political character,— the people with correct 
sentiments expressing them at the ballot box,— still I have no hope of success, 
any further than our action is based upon correct moral sentiment, and 
sustained by correct moral feeling. And I am happy to say, that as a 
whole, the anti-slavery enterprise in America is deeply imbued with a 
correct religious feeling, and derives its best strength from the spirit of 
fervent piety and devout prayer, and has its foundation in that fear of God 
which is the beginning of wisdom. Some of its advocates may betray undue 
warmth in debate, and may appear to rely upon carnal policy, yet there is a 
redeeming spirit in the midst ; there are not a few who sigh and cry at the 
mercy-seat for the abominations of the land, and wait before God in availing 
prayer ; and who receive the answer to their prayers in the coming forward of 
gifted minds, to explain the doctrine of human rights, and to defend the truth. 
To produce conviction upon the mind of the slave-holder, of the wrong which 
he practices, and to procure the manumission of the slave is one and the most 
essential thing, in our great work. But with this is connected the labour, also 
indispensable in the case, to elevate the black man, and to prepare him in 
the possession of his freedom, to become a useful and respectable citizen. To 
accomplish this is a work of great and patient labour, upon which the atten- 
tion of abolitionists must rest with unabating interest, and for which they 
must make liberal and permanent provision. As formidable as is the straggle 
for manumission, I look upon the event as comparatively near. I am not too 
old to indulge the sanguine hope of witnessing this glorious event. My faith 
in its very speedy accomplishment is strong. American abolition has com- 
menced its work near the middle of the nineteenth century. You know it is 
characteristic of Americans to go forward rapidly. I expect a development 
of this national characteristic, in reference to the abolition of its slavery. 
We have all the benefits of British example in the case, a little more 
preparatory work, a little longer application of the moral machinery, a little 
further application of the developments of Providence, and we jump to the 



143 

conclusion, the chains of the slave are sawn asunder, his bloody manacles fall 
from his limbs, aud he is a freeman. But the work will not then be done 
Where are the men and women, who from principle will engage in the labour 
of elevating the coloured man ? who will go down to him in his degradation, 
sympathise with him, stay by him, weep over him, pray with him, teach him,' 
comfort him, pom- oil into his wounds, and raise him to the dignity of a 
man, and lead him out as one who is now redeemed from his thraldom, and 
allowed his rights as a man and a brother ; to be esteemed and treated, 
not according to the colour of his skin or his hair, but according to his 
personal merits as a man of industry, intelligence, and virtue ? We need 
in the United States a large number of this class. As yet they are too 
few. Happily their number is increasing. The work of preparing them is 
in progress. The Oberlin Institute, whose origin I have before mentioned, 
commenced by the forty young men who were denied free discussion by 
those who should have sustained them in it, forbidden to instruct the 
blacks by those who should have cheered them in the duty, and receiving 
the coloured people to the same and equal privileges with the white man, is 
furnishing efficient labour of this description. Both teachers and pupils 
are devoting themselves especially to the improvement of the coloured 



Four hundred a 



l training ; nearly 100 of whom will go 



out every year prepared for such a work. A moral, literary, spiritual, 
philanthropic, truly abolition phalanx, are thus preparing for the herculean, 
but noble Christian work, which is soon to be thrown into their hands 
by the manumission of the slaves. It is too late to pretend that the blacks 
have not talents. Give them the opportunity, and their talents will be 
developed. Let them enjoy the proper moral and intellectual training, and 
they will become literary men, qualified to stand in any of the pulpits of 
Christendom. The residue of my days, I hope cheerfully to devote to this 
particular object, and it shall be my abundant reward to know, that my 
beloved countrymen have at length, though late, learned to practice righ- 
teousness towards the coloured race ; and that their slavery is named amono- 
the things that were. ""' 

Rev. N. COL VEB,.- Allow me to offer an apology for myself, and for 
my brethren from America. In our discussions upon the subject before the 
Convention, I know, and I feel with grief, that we may seem to speak ill of 
our country, in the communications we make, with reference to it. But I can 
exclaim with Cowper, when looking at the faults of England, 
******#*« America, 
" With all thy faults I love thee still !" 
I would gladly throw a mantle over the faults of America, and hide them 
from view, but in so doing, we should cover up the poor coloured man who 
is in slavery there. With all the tender feelings which we cherish for our 
country, I know that in the heat of debate we are apt to go far, and I should 
be sorry that an injurious word should fly back to America, and damage our 
cause. On the motion, touching the literature of England, and the manner in 
which it can affect America, I have but a single remark to make, aud I will 
do it by relating a fact. There is one delicate point where the literature of 
this country can touch America, and make it feel, and which I believe has not 
been mentioned. Two years since, when passiug down one of the northern 
rivers, a friend introduced me to a gentleman, by saying, "I know you are a 
slave-holder, I beg to introduce to you an ageut of the Anti-Slavery 



144 

Society." He looked aghast. I said, "This is abrupt ; but we may as well 
come to the question at first as at last. I wish to inquire whether you are a 
Christian." It appeared to bring him to a pause, but he replied, " Thauk God, 
I hope I am." I rejoined, "Then we will talk about this subject,"-and the 
following conversation transpired. " Let me tell you," said he, " I think yon 
miss your point in not knowing our character. The southern men are full ot 
chivalry ; they cannot bear to be touched on that point, and such is the 
course pursued by anti-slavery folks, that you arouse their indignation, and 
can do them no good." " I will try not to arouse yours ; but I wish to talk to 
you of the right of one man holding property in another." I drew hur 
away from the company, and got him into the Bible argument, 
time he began to grow tender. I inquired whether h° ll! " 
Bible argument, and finding that he had not, I prom 
arrived at New York, I would put him in possession of a copy. I requested 
that he would carry it home aud read it. He replied, " I cannot ; I should 
not be safe in doing it." "What do you mean?" "I should be a marked 
man." "Are yon a southern man, do you possess this chivalry, and do 
you make a bow to Messrs. Mob, and ask them what book yon shall read I 
I heard you boasting just now that you were a freeman. What ! have the 
southern men come to this, that they cannot exercise their judgment as to 
what books they shall read, what newspapers they shall examine, without 
asking a mob ? Is this the conduct of Christian men V He stroked Ms head 
and said, " Ah, it is so." It was evening, and he wanted to go to bed. But 
he said, "You should go to Congress, and get them to free the slaves; and 
if Congress will emancipate them, there are thousands who will go for it with 
both hands up." TUn is a point on which the south may be made to feel, 
and they must feel. It is a fact that the judges of the land, the legislators, 
and the miuisters of the south are themselves slaves ; they are not freemen, 
they have to ask the ruffian mobs what they may read. I know of no point 
on which they can be assailed, and made to feel so keenly, as upon that. I 
hope that your press will make brother Jonathan feel, that while he binds 
the slave in chains, he himself is bound, and that his boasted chivalry is 
mere passion and noise, while he permits himself to be a slave. I give this 
fact with reference to assailing America through the operation of British 
literature. 

Bev. E. GALUSHA.— I fear a wrong impression may rest upon the 
minds of some gentlemen, who are unacquainted with the entire American 
character. Dnriug this afternoon, we, who are her representatives, have been 
placed in circumstances most deeply humiliating ; we have been obliged to 
contrast American shame with British glory. You have been beforehand 
with us in the work of justice and benevolence. The object for which we are 
assembled has required ns to speak of the vices, not the virtues of the country. 
And while doing so, we wish it to be remembered, that not all that is m 
America is American. For slavery there is not indigeuous but exotic. We 
also hope, that when we are called upon to state the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, in relation to the evils of slavery in America, yon 
will keep in mind that we are exhibiting but one, and that the most odious 
trait in her character. And I desire to offer one apology for her, though not 
an unrighteous one. For I have feared that while we have been showing her 
up in her tatters and abominations, you would be ready to discard and disown 
herforever. But she is your offspring, however sh» — .,.,.,•: ,», 



After si 



that when \ 



e dishonoured and 



145 

degraded, and the shame with which she is now mantled is not the result of 
her own independent conduct, but the fruit of early and undue parental 
indulgence. The only apology I have to offer for her is, that she is possessed 
of a devil, and is so under infernal power, that like the lacerated demoniacs 
coming out of the tombs, she has iuflicted violence upon herself. But we 
have come here to tell yon the truth of her case— the worst of it, that you may 
unite with us in her behalf, and grant us all the aid of your literature, your 
religion, and your press, to exorcise her. And when the evil spirit shall have 
gone out, and you shall see America sitting clothed and in her right mind, 
(and we trust that the time will soon arrive), then you will again receive her 
as your own fair daughter, brightening up into all the features of her pristine 
loveliness. 

Mr. FULLER.— I believe there are some bright spots, some oases in 
my adopted country. I am glad that the remarks of some friends have 
tended to show it. I wish that one friend had gone further with regard 
to the case of Harris. That case will bring individual responsibility upon 
us all. I uuderstood him to say, that Harris was under the patronage of 
a Quaker ; he was under the patronage of a Presbyterian minister, a man 
with nine children who never at any time possessed 500 dollars. This is a 
bright spot. I am glad, as a member of the Society of Friends, to bear my 
testimony in favour of an American Presbyterian minister. When this 
young man went to Burlington College, he was admitted, with the under- 
standing, that he should recite by himself for three weeks. He continued 
to do so for twelve months, and then he was at the head of his class. His pre- 
ceptor then said to him, « Young man, you come up and recite with your class 
to-day ; be cool j do it as well as you can, and if there be occasion, when the 
recitation is over, I will address the class." He came up, and at the close of 
the recitation, his preceptor said, " Young geutlemen, you perceive you have 
a fresh class-mate, I need not say who it is j you can see by Iris colour. 
Probably some of yon will take offence. If any one objects to him, he is at 
liberty to leave the college, aud more than that, if you all leave that young 
man shall stay, and I will sustain his rights ; his rights have been trampled 
on for twelve months." And what did these chivalrous youths do ? They 
all submitted, because here was a man who acted couscientiously and not from 
expediency. But for this upright conduct the probability is, that this young 
man would have been put down, where John Keep said the coloured men were 
and trodden upon. I understaud that the largest Baptist College in the world' 
is about to be opened for coloured men. I do not believe that we are quite so 
contemptible as we have been represented. It may be satisfactory to know, 
that Professor Dean, who sits near me, is a professor of Burlington College 

Rev. C. E. LESTER.— I hope we shall not, as Americans, make so many 
apologies for the truth. We state facts, and as men we ought to state them. 
I hope we shall not exhibit national pride, and prove too sensitive on the flaws 
of our country. They do not come out with more severity than the truth 
requires. I have been present the whole of the day hearing those noble 
attestations to the truth, which have been uttered by our friends on both 
sides the Atlantic. I hope that the discussion will be resumed to-morrow, 
and that a further opportunity will be given of adducing facts tending to' 
elucidate the whole subject. When Dr. Rolph has opened the Canadian 
question; I shall, with the permission of the audience, state facts which I 
think will not only be interesting but very honourable to America. 



146 

The resolution was then put and carried unanimously. 

JOSIAH FORSTER, Esq.-In endeavouring to enlist the literature of otter 

s:° ^:zs* ss r-L *- a „««*. ^ 

1 SI OTATRMAN.-As the whole diseussionhasbeenon ^ *£7, 
it will he hetter that this resolution should stand by itself. . sh ould like to 
sav a word in reference to the feelings of our Amencan friends. More than 
oneLTfelUhat in order to he a consistent, honest man, it was neeessary to 
e^ose SX We should remember that under the hieing of heaven 
our own sores have been but very recently heated. We sh ould thank .our 
Wriean brethren for having exposed then ailments and asked for their 
removal It is now our duty to act the part of Hnd and Christian phy- 
sicians ' I have felt throughout the whole of the day that they were acting a 
most honourable part in standing up as they have done for the honour of their 
country. 

JONATHAN BACKHOUSE, Esq. (of Darlington.)-I rise to move the fol- 
lowing resolution — 

A volume entitled, Replies to the Queries of the British and Foreign 
Anti-Slavery Soeiety, on Slavery in the United States, having heen 
laid on the table, and numerous other papers and statements submitted, 
relating to the present operation of slavery in the United States; 
Resolved, that they be referred to a eommittee, consisting of John 
Bibt, J. Woodwaek, J. G. Bieney. W. Phillips, and J. Feancillon, 
who are hereby appointed to consider the same, and to prepare for 
and report on their publication. 

I feel pleasure in eontributing, however little it may be, towards the pro- 
motion of the important objeet whieh we all have in view. I feel that the 
results of this Convention will be of vital importance, not only to the hundreds 
of thousands of our fellow-ereatures who are held in bondage, but to those 
who fasten their shaekles and infliet the lash. Having been m the United 
States, and seen much of the working of the system of slavery there I can, 
as an eye-witness, confirm many of the faets whieh have this day been stated. 
Though some of the laws of America have been adverted to, I should like 
you to hear from some of the delegates from the United States present, the 
extent of the injustice which is to be found on the records of the different 
legislative assemblies, suceinetly stated ; where even that precious book winch 
has been given by divine inspiration is not allowed to be taught to the slaves 
or even to the free coloured man. In some of the states the man who is bold 
enough to teach it to a coloured ehild, bond or free, is liable to be fined 500 
dollars for the Jfet offenee, and for the second, to be put to death I do not 
think it ean be eonsidered that in the slave states the laws admit of the 
liberation of the slave. 

Mr. BIRNEY— In some states they do. 

Mr. BACKHOUSE.-Not in all states, by any means. One himdied and 
fifty slaves liberated by the Friends in North Carolina, were seized by a vaga- 



147 

bond in the neighbourhood and sold into slavery. The Friends (their former 
masters) brought an action against the individual, in the Supreme Court and 
the judge gave a decree in their favour. At the next session, the legislature 
of ISorth Carolina passed a law rendering the sale valid, and commanding 
these slaves who had been liberated to be returned to slavery. An eminent 
lawyer (now a judge) advised the Mends to eonvey the remainder of those to 
whom they had given freedom to trustees, as slaves. This was done, solely with 
a_ view to their protection from a similar outrage, all their earnings were 
given to them, and they continued to enjoy the privileges of freedom. But a 
fresh smt was brought in the Supreme Court, and -eventually a deeision given, 
that it was well known, the Quakers' discipline did not allow them to hold 
slaves, and that, therefore, this arrangement was made to eontravene what 
they termed the poliey of the law ; and a verdict for several thousand dollars 
was aetnally given against the trustees. I have seen two hundred men and 
women ehained to each other, driven along like beasts ; I have seen children 
torn from their parents, husbands from their wives ; and mothers have told 
me, that as soon as their children arrived at an age at which they were worth 
a few dollars, every child in succession has beeu torn from them, and sold to 
far distant plantations, without the least ray of hope that they would ever see 
them again ; leaving them ehildless and cheerless to drag out the short remains 
of their weary, aud toilsome, and suffering pilgrimage, without the tear of 
sympathy to comfort and ehoer them in their passage to the tomb 
Mr. BENNET.— I beg to second that resolution. 

Mr. BIRNEY.— I am rather apprehensive that the Committee are about 
to undertake more than they will be able to perform during the sitting 
of the present Convention. The doeumeuts referred to will make a volume of 
considerable size, and the eondensation of the matter is no slight task. 
These documents have been prepared at a very considerable expense of time 
and labour, and the statements of facts eontained in them may be relied upon 
as authentic. They are now in the possession of the British and Foreign Anti- 
Slavery Soeiety, with authority to do with them whatever they shall see 
proper. I would suggest that the Soeiety appoint a committee for their 
eondensation, who will, in whatever course may be taken with them, have 
referenee to the effect they may be made to produee on the British public, and 
their consequent influenee on the Ameriean. 

Rev. J. KEEP.— I wish the Convention to bear in mind that these docu- 
ments were eompiled by two of the. most discriminating minds we have in 
America, one of them, the son of a gentleman who was formerly a slave- 
holder, the other, Theodore Weld. The facts are of immense moment. I 
ire to assert that there is no manuseript doeument to be eompared with 
it m point of value. I think, therefore, that it should come out under the 
sanction of the Convention. 

Mr. CONDER.— The eommittee ean 
they think proper. 

_ Mr. W. MORGAN.— The work will 
tion upon it, unless these documents go 
Mr. BIRNEY.— I have no objectio 
sanction of the Convention. 



The resolution was put and • 
Convention adjourned. 



n their report reeommend what course 

.ot have the imprimatiir of the Conven- 
to the eommittee. 
to any course which will give it the 

trried unanimously, after whieli the 



FOURTH DAY'S SITTINGS, TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 1840. 
(MORNING). 
J. G. BIENEY, Esq. in the Cliair. 
The Minutes of yesterday were read and confirmed. 
Rev. William Bevan haying announced that the subject for dis- 

FRENCII SLAVERY : 

Mr. TBEDGOLD read the following credentials of the French Deputies ; 

TO THE COMMITTEE OP THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN ANTI-SLAVERY 
SOCIETY OF LONDON. 

The French Society having been informed by you that delegates 
from Societies in different parts of the world were about to assemble in 
the capital of the British Empire, to confer together on the most effica- 
cious means of accomplishing the abolition of slavery, which stall bears 
so heavily on the unfortunate African race in so many countries of the 
world, are most desirous of associating themselves with you in this 
important work. 

This Society rejoices at the generous efforts of so many men united 
together, for the hallowed purpose of healing a wound which cupidity 
keeps open, and which prevents the healthful progress of civilization in 
so extensive a manner. 

It will be in vain that the slave-trade has been disallowed by the 
laws of so many of the principal nations of Europe, and that stipula- 
tions have been entered into in treaties concluded between the great 
civilized powers ; if there still exist ' countries where the markets are 
open, where men can be reduced by other men to serve in the capacity 
of sl'aves under the protection of the laws, and where the vindication 
of freedom and the assertion of free-labour are treated as a crime. So 
long as these evils exist, humanity will have incessantly to groan under 
this infamous crime, and society will have to suffer from the demorali- 
zation which everywhere accompanies it. 

Not to speak of the horrible cruelties which attend the clandestine 
trade, it is impossible that the possessors of slaves can perform the 
duties imposed upon them by the laws of religion and morality, either 
towards themselves or their dependents. 



It is impossible that the 



complete suppression of the natural and imprescriptible right which 
man holds from his Creator should not affect, in its essence, the ends 
of the social compact. 

Whatever may be the pretended necessities of tropical culture, it is 
impossible to justify the laws which; by the odious abuse of mere force, 
pretend to maintain an entire race of men under the yoke of servitude. 

Several generations have passed away since France proclaimed the 
principles of human liberty in the midst of universal bondage. At the 
opening of the States-General, in 1789, she declared by the mouth of 
one of her ministers that negro-slavery could not be maintained. 

The National Assembly placed freedom and property among the 
rights of man and of citizenship. 

We are desirous, therefore, of associating ourselves with you in 
your efforts agaiust slavery, which is an open outrage against the living 
principles that lie at the bottom of every Frenchman's heart, and which 
neither sophistry nor private interest will ever be able to destroy. 

With a view to this object we beg you to recognise Monsieur 
Isambert, a member of the French legislature, and the Secretary of our 
Society, Monsieur Cordier, also a member of the Chamber of Deputies, 
M. de St. Anthoine, and M. Alcide Laure, who have readily under- 
taken the mission. 

We regret that the closing labours of our parliamentary session, in 
which many of our most distinguished members are engaged, as well as 
those of the government commission assembled at this moment for the 
examination of all the questions relating to Colonial slavery, prevent us 
from rendering this deputation so numerous as we could have wished 
it to be. 

Signed on behalf of the French Anti-Slavery Society, 

DE LABORDE. 

Paris, at a sitting of the Society, ' Passy. 

June 9, 1840. 

Mr. TURNBULL.-The task has devolved on me of introducing the 
subject of slavery in the French colonies. I feel myself greatly supported 
hy seeing beside me my bon. friend, M. Isambeut ; and also M. Cuemieux 
who although he is a child of the house of Israel, is as thorough an aboli- 
tionist as any gentleman present. You are all, doubtless, aware that the 
subject of abolition has of late years made great progress in France ; that it 
has repeatedly been before the French legislature ; and that two successive 
committees have been named for the piu-pose of examining the various modes 



150 

by which abolition might he accomplished. Within the last few weeks, Mr. 
Tredgold and myself had the honour of being received by the King of the 
French, with whom we had a long audience. His Majesty assured us in the 
first place, that he and his government were prepared to do all in their power 
to abolish the slave-trade; and that a Commission was about to be named to 
inquire into the best means of effecting the abolition of slavery. This 
Commission has since been appointed, and from the names of its members, as 
they appear in the Moniteur, it is impossible to doubt the sincerity of His 
Majesty's declaration. I will now proceed to read to the Convention the fol- 
lowing paper in which the two plans which are already before the legislature 
are set forth. 

The great question of slavery has already made considerable progress 
in France. It is true that it was the opinion of the Committee of 
1838, that the slaves in the French colonies were not then so well 
prepared for emancipation, as those in the English colonies in 1833. 

This difference is ascribed to the constant care which England had 
taken of her slave-colonies, ever since the date of the abolition of the 
slave-trade in 1807 ; to the zeal of the Moravian, Methodist, and 
Baptist Missionaries, to the establishment of schools, the building of 
churches, and the progress of education ; to the debates in Parliament, 
the discussions in the local assemblies, and the freedom of the Colonial 
press, familiarising the minds of the colonists, and indirectly those of 
the slaves, with the idea of liberty, and impressing them with the 
necessity, the advantage, and the power of the law. 

The English negro they say is more religious and m 
submit to public authority than the French ; hut the French negro on 
the other hand is assumed to he more intelligent, better acquainted 
with his own interests, and of a more benevolent disposition than the 
English. The French they say have always been the best slave- 
masters in the West Indies, more gentle and communicative than the 
English, and less obstinate, rigorous and minute in the exercise of their 
rights. For these reasons it is assumed to he unquestionable, that if 
the slave-trade had not been persisted in, the slaves in the French 
colonies would have been better prepared for emancipation than those 
of the English were in 1833. 

With regard to the moral and intellectual condition of their slaves, 
they ascribe its melancholy condition to the want of instruction, to the 
small number of the clergy, and their total want of zeal in the cause ; 
never troubling themselves in the least with the interests of the negro 
population. In the isle of Bourbon the slaves are represented as given 



151 

up to the grossest idolatry; but in the "West Indies, they are said to bo 
naturally disposed to the observances of religion. 

The committee of 1839 declared itself in favour of an intermediate and 
transition state between slavery and freedom, analogous in some degree 
to the English negro apprenticeship. In place of leaving the negro 
during the existence of this intermediate state in the hands of his 
former master, and establishing a special magistracy for his protection ; 
the committee proposed, that, immediately on the abolition of slavery, 
a radical and substantial change should take place in all the relations 
which formerly existed between the slave and bis master. The exclu- 
sive tutelage of the emancipated population, according to the plan of 
the committee, would be transferred to the government, by whom the 
services of the emancipated negroes were to be hired out to the planters, 
on such conditions as the authorities might determine. This state of 
things was to last, until by means of a sinking fund, to be accumulated 
from the wages to be earned by the emancipated negroes, the whole 
indemnity to be awarded to the proprietors, prineipal and interest, 
should have been refunded to the government. 

It is assumed that in the whole of the French colonies there are now 
about 250,000 slaves, two-thirds of whom, between fourteen and sixty 
years of age, arc considered capable of habitual and productive labour. 
The committee have not made any specific proposal as to the amount 
of the compensation to be awarded to the actual proprietors of slaves ; 
but they have assumed, that the wages may be such as that they shall 
be at once moderate and reasonable to the planter, sufficient to cover 
the interest of the original indemnity, as well as the sinking fund for 
its gradual extinction, and at the same time enable the government 
to reserve a portion of the wages for the use of the labourer. In the 
absence of all specification of the elementary principles on which the 
calculations of the committee have been founded, it is impossible of course 
to subject them to any satisfactory test ; but it is clear, that if the 
compensation is to bear any just proportion with the actual value of 
the- slave to his owner, and if the future wages of the negro are to 
be no higher than would naturally arise from the future supply of 
voluntary labour, and the relative demand for it in the market, the 
extinction of the debt created by the indemnity, cannot possibly take 
place in the present generatiou. The state may possibly become a 
better task-master than the planter, and to that extent the condition of 



152 
the slaves may be improved, but until tbey shall have earned their own 
redemption, and that of their posterity, together with the means of 
supporting their old, infirm, and infant relatives, they will continue 
substantially slaves. The enjoyment- of their freedom during one day 
in the week, and the distribution among the labourers of a portion of 
their wages, are purely hypothetical propositions dependent on the 
success of the scheme of the committee, and the realization of the 
necessary surplus from the wages, after providing for the payment of 
the interest of the debt and its corresponding sinking fund. 

It is expected that with the labour of one day in the week, in his 
garden or provision ground, the negro will be able to maintain himself 
in comfort ; and that the wages to be earned in five days of the week, 
seeming Sunday as a day of rest, will be sufficient to accomplish the 
final redemption of the debt, within a period however at which no 
guess has been offered. The practicability of this plan would evidently 
depend on a variety of conditions which have not been specified ; the 
amount of the indemnity which the planter is to receive per capita for 
his slaves, and the rate of wages he is afterwards to be called on to 
pay. The planters would in fact be completely at the mercy of the 
government, which would be invested under the system proposed, with 
an absolute control over the market for labour. This controlling power 
would become so excessive and so arbitrary, as to enable the govern- 
ment from year to year, to regulate the balance sheets on every plan- 
tation in the French colonies, and determine the amount of profit or 
loss at their pleasure, independent of the separate power they possess 
over the home market, in admitting and regulating the formidable 
competition of the grower of beet-root sugar. 

According to the plan of the committee, the care of the old and 
the infirm was to be confided to their present owners, to whom also 
the young negroes were to be bound under a species of apprenticeship, 
which in every case was to terminate at the age of twenty-one. ' It is 
not stated whether they were then to enter on the enjoyment of perfect 
freedom, or were to be transferred to the care of the government, in 
order to increase the redemption fund. The latter course is to be 
inferred however from the line of argument maintained in the report, . 
by which it is contended, that the emancipation of all classes ought to 
be strictly simultaneous. 

It is not to be denied that in several of the details of the plan of the 



153 

committee, as far as they have yet transpired, improvements have been 
suggested on the course of emancipation adopted by the Parliament of 
Great Britain. During the period of probation between slavery and 
freedom, the interposition of the government between the master and 
the labourer, would have a tendency to soften and remove many of 
those causes of irritation, which made the English apprenticeship a 
perpetual source of heart-burning and distrust. There would also be 
the means of bringing a greater amount of influence to bear on the 
education of the people, on their moral and intellectual improvement, 
the observance of the marriage-rite, and the obligations connected with 
it, and in various other ways, by which a sentiment of self-respect, 
incompatible with the degrading and demoralizing tendency of slavery, 
may be gradually instilled into the mind of the negro. The evils of 
the system proposed by the committee are equally obvious. It excludes, 
in effect at least, one whole generation from the enjoyment of their 
natural rights. Instead of dividing the burthen of redemption between 
the mother-country, the slave-owners, and the slaves themselves, as the 
British Government proposed to do, in awarding an indemnity in con- 
junction with the apprenticeship ; the plan of the French committee is 
to throw the whole on the shoulders of the slave, compelling him to 
work out his own redemption, and deferring the advent of freedom, 
until that object, however remote the period, is completely obtained. 
The British Parliament committed the mistake of assuming too large 
a share of the burthen, relieving the slave-owner altogether, and de- 
ferring the period of freedom, the instant possession of which was the 
natural right of the negro, for a series of years. The people of England 
never objected to the price they were paying, as long as they believed 
it to be founded on equitable principles ; but as soon as they perceived 
that between the large indemnity they had paid in advance, and the 
unremunerated labour of the apprenticeship, the slave-owner in place 
of bearing his fair share of the burthen, was to be greatly over-paid for 
any loss he had actually sustained, and not content with the hard 
bargain he had driven in Parliament, was resolved to convert the 
last remnant of the apprenticeship, unjust in principle, and useless in 
. policy, into a source of unreasonable gain, such an outcry was. raised in 
England, as made it impossible for the colonists to persist in their 
declared intention, compelling them in their local assemblies, to perform 



one tardy act of justice without the renewed intervention of the imperial 



The government and the chambers in France, have nothing to appre- 
hend on this subject from popular clamour. The only pressure they 
feel from without, is, that which takes its rise in the colonies them- 
selves. The proximity of the English islands, and the impossibility of 
much longer eoncealing the fact, that freedom is within sight and 
within reach of their sla,ves, make it the obvious interest of the planters 
to hasten the period of emancipation, provided they can secure for 
themselves an adequate indemnity. 

The arguments of the colonists are now reduced to so many dilatory 
pleas, the whole object of which is to maintain the remnant of their 
dominion over their slaves for as long a term as possible. Having 
themselves done absolutely nothing to prepare the negroes for freedom, 
they insist that a period of preparation is indispensable ; but in answer 
to these objections, it has been well observed by the intelligent reporter 
of the committee of the Chamber of Deputies, appointed during the 
last session of the French legislature, to examine the proposal of M. db 
Tracy, that to attempt to give to a slave the manners, habits, and 
opinions of a freeman, and to make this a condition of his emancipation, 
would be to condemn him in effect to perpetual slavery. The idea of 
property can scarcely arise in the mind of a man who, in his servile 
condition, is denied all proprietary rights ; and habits of industry and 
foresight, are equally cut off, by the conviction, that servitude is the 
inheritance of himself and his descendants. The institution of marriage, 
the ties of family, and the influence of moral habits, are not to be 
expected in a state of slavery. The man who is not allowed to exercise 
the conjugal or parental authority, has no inducement to enter the 
marriage state. Shut out alike from the rights and the duties, the 
hopes and the cares of paternity, he has no inducement to incur a 
fresh obligation. Eeligion with him never rises above the rank of the 
grossest superstition, and its teachers he is accustomed to regard as the 
allies of his masters and oppressors. 

The experiment of the apprenticeship in the British colonies generally, 
compared with the want of it in Antigua and Bermuda, has proved to 
demonstration, how entirely useless and unnecessary it was as a means 
of preparation. The reluetan.ee with which the last two years were 



155 

abandoned in the case of the prsedial labourers, by our English West 
India planters, was never placed on the footing, that the apprentices 
would be better fitted for freedom at the end of six years than of four. 
The only ground on which the shortening of the apprenticeship was 
resisted in 1838, was the injustice that would be done to the master, 
by diminishing the indemnity guaranteed to him by law. The very 
term was a nuisance. It was not to learn his trade, to dig cane holes, 
to weed, to cut down the harvest, or to carry it to the mill, nor even 
to skim the sugar kettles, or feed the fire, that the negro was bound 
apprentice for a term of years to his former owner. The object of 
the government was, that at the end of his term of service, the negro 
might be found improved in morals and in powers of reasoning ; of the 
master, that he himself might obtain some further compensation for the 
loss of the power and the profit, of which the act of emancipation had 
deprived him. 

It was not till the year 1833 that local legislatures were created in 
the French colonies. These bodies, however, although they represent 
the planting interest by a system of election, are far from enjoying 
the extensive powers exercised by the houses of assembly, in the 
British colonies. The legislative power, with respect to the French 
possessions, has been partly reserved by the chambers of the mother 
country, has been partly conceded to the executive government, aud 
partly to these Colonial councils. In all that relates to the condition 
of the slave population, the power is specially vested in the Crown, 
restricted only by a clause, to which the colonists are disposed to give 
a very large interpretation, that in takiug measures for the amelioration 
of the condition of the slave population, all acquired rights are to be 
respected. 

It is a serious reproach to the government of the Bourbons, during 
the period of the restoration, that the slave-trade was never seriously 
disturbed. Laws were passed indeed, in 1818 and 1827, by which the 
trade was nominally prohibited; but the toleration and protection 
which it practically received at the hauds of the local authorities, afford 
sufficient evidence that the governments of Louis xviii., and Charles 
x., were either deceived themselves, or knowingly pursued a system, 
by which they expected to deceive either the French people, or at least 
the rest of the world. 

It is to this cause alone that the continued opposition of the French 



156 

colonists, to any system of emancipation that lias yet been proposed, 
may fairly be ascribed. Relying on the resource of a constant supply 
of cheap labour, by means of the slave-trade, the French planters had 
then just as little interest, as the Spanish planters have now, to attend 
to the physical wants of their negroes, to keep them in health and 
strength, to prolong their lives, and to promote, by the improvement 
of their morals, and by regular marriages, the re-production of their race. 
During the last six or seven years, it is not to be denied that in these 
respects, more especially at Martinique, a great improvement has taken 
place. Of this improvement the planters are willing to assume the 
whole of the merit, whereas it ought to be ascribed, without any 
deduction or qualification to the practical interdiction of the slave-trade. 
Up to the period of the revolution of 1830, the suppression of the slave- 
trade was resisted more strenuously, and denounced more earnestly, as 
the signal of the ruin of the French colonies, than the abolition of 
■ slavery itself, at the present moment, or at any intervening period. 

So recently as 1833, a number of distinctions continued to exist 
under the provisions of the Code Noir, exaggerated by local regulations, 
between the white inhabitants and the free people of colour. These 
distinctions were legally abolished by the law of 1833, which, however, 
was not strong enough to bring the two classes of the free population, 
so widely separated by the prejudice of colour, into social or friendly 
contact with each other. The habits of personal equality, so deeply 
seated in the manners of the French people, made this social distinction 
only so much the more offensive to the numerous and intelligent class 
who are wounded by it. The measures of police, affecting the artizans 
of Martinique, introduced by Admiral Mackan, were naturally regarded 
as giving a sort of official sanction to the social degradation of the 
coloured inhabitants who- did uot fail to ascribe the Admiral's subse- 
quent promotion in the navy, to the success with which he had 'courted 
the favour of the colonial aristocracy. 

Between the enactment of the Code Noir, which was issued in the 
form of an edict in 1685, and the final and practical abolition of the 
slave-trade, a number of regulations were introduced, having all the 
force of law, by which the manumission of individual slaves was made 
as dirficult as possible, complicated by formalities, restrained by taxes, 
and subjected to the sanction of the local authorities, which was often 
refused, on the ground that the manumitted slave might become a 



157 

burthen on the community. It is to the government of Louis 
Philippe, that the negro inhabitants of the French colonies are indebted 
for the means of simplifying the process, and verifying the fact of 
manumission, as well as of suppressing the incidental expenses. The 
official sanction which is still interposed, has now exclusively for its 
object, the authenticity and regularity of the operation. Still, however 
great the obstacles to the legal right under the old practice, of a manu- 
mitted slave to his freedom, it was of course impossible to prevent a 
master, who was willing to abandon his dominion, from conferring on 
his slave all the practical benefits of freedom. In this way there arose 
a numerous class in the French islands, bearing the name of patrones 
or Hires de Savanes, at Martinique and Guadaloupe, and of Cartes 
blanches, at the Isle of Bourbon, who although slaves in the eye of the 
law, had ceased to have any master, aud were therefore practically free. 
The royal ordinances which were passed on the 1st of March, 1831, and 
12th July, 1832, gave this class a legal right to their freedom ; and the 
numerous manumissions which have since been constantly appearing in 
the Colonial Gazettes, are not necessarily, therefore, the result of an 
increasing disposition on the part of the proprietors, to abandon their 
rights, but are in fact, the accumulated fiuit of the great mass of the 
manumissions which have taken place, during a period of at least 150 
years. According to an estimate which was made in 1836, the number 
of individuals who had become entitled to the legal recognition of their 
freedom, amounted in the two islands of Martinique' and Guadaloupe, 
to at least 13,000. 

As long as the slave-trade was prohibited by law, and was at the 
same time practically tolerated in the French colonies, there was a 
strong disinclination on the part of the dominant class, to the ordinary 
operations which were necessary to ascertain at stated intervals, the 
exact numbers of the slave population. In the Spanish colonies this 
dislike has not been manifested in the same degree ; but this fact is 
to be ascribed to the conviction of the Spanish planters, that their 
government has really no desire to interfere with the slave-trade, but 
on the contrary, believes its continuance to be a sort of political 
necessity indispensable to the maintenance of the power of the mother 
country, over the last of her transatlantic possessions. The French 
planters are opposed also to the census, on account of the capitation 
tax, which has long been imposed on the negro population. Accus- 



158 

tomed to treat their slaves as personal property, they are eompelled also 
to regard them as a taxable eomrnodity, the amount of which they 
have no desire to communicate to the officers of the revenue. By the 
existing regulations, the owners of slaves are required under severe 
penalties, to make annual returns of their numbers, and of other 
details, to the munieipal authorities ; besides a speeial return of births, 
marriages, and deaths, within a limited period after they take plaee. 
For several years a good deal of distrust continued to be manifested, in 
eonsequence of the imperfeet nature of these returns; but since 1836, 
the loeal authorities appear to have overeome the difficulty, representing 
the royal ordinanees as at least in vigour, although the result of the 
annual eensus was not yet so eomplete and satisfactory as eould be 



After all, however, the Freneh eolonial authorities have really no 
means of appreciating the aeeuracy of their returns. 

The more general use of the plough in Martinique and Guadaloupe, 
has contributed, in connexion with other causes, to soften the hostility 
of the colonists to the proposed measure of emaneipation. A single 
plough is held to be equivalent to- the manual labour of fifteen negroes ; 
and it is asserted, that the system of husbandry pursued in these two 
islands, is at least equal to that whieh is followed in the department du 
JSTord, the best eultivated of the French provinees, and proportionably 
superior to the rest of the kingdom. In Freneh Guiana and the Isle of 
Bourbon, the plough has seareely as yet been introduced, on aeeount, 
it is said, of the nature of the soil, especially in Guiana, where it is 
supposed that its use would be injurious to the numerous ditches and 
canals rendered necessary by the faet, that most of the eultivated 
distriets are below the level of the sea. 

On eomparing the four Freneh eolonies with eaeh other, it appears 
that the disproportion between the sexes is much greater in Freneh 
Guiana and the Isle of Bourbon, than in Martinique and Guadaloupe, 
from whence it is reasonable to infer, that the slave-trade in which the 
disproportion originated, has been earried on more aetively and more 
reeently in the two former eolonies, than in the two latter. Although 
not openly tolerated in any of the Freneh colonies sinee the revolution 
of 1830, I have had the means of satisfying myself, that there had 
been some instanees of it even in Martinique, two years after that 
period, and it ean seareely therefore be doubted, after a eareful exarni- 



159 

nation of the statistical details officially disclosed by the government, 
that this atrocious traffic has been carried on much more recently both 
at Cayenne and Bourbon. In questioning the delegates, this point was 
strongly urged by M. Odilon Barrot, one of the members of the 
committee. But the vicinity of the Portuguese possessions of Para to 
French Guiana, would better explain tbe admitted disproportion than 
the fact alleged by the Cayenne delegate, that the cargoes of certain 
captured slavers had been landed in French Guiana since 1831, suffi- 
ciently numerous to produce the difference observed there between the 



The inquiries of the committee were also directed to ascertain how 
far the slaves were disposed in the various colonies to amass a peculium. 
The answers were, in general, such as might have been expected. The 
possession of property by persons in a state of slavery, not being legally 
recognized, those who have succeeded in making any savings are 
generally eager to secure the enjoyment of them as speedily as possible. 
In the British colonies, however, where the security of property is no 
longer doubtful, I have heard it universally remarked, that the negroes 
display a desire of accumulation, much stronger than is usually to be 
found among the labouring classes in the mother country. The com- 
mittee were greatly puzzled with the inconsistent answers received from 
the delegates on the subject of tbe savings of the slaves, some asserting 
that the desire was great, and the possession of a purse so general, as 
to extend to two-thirds of the population ; while, at the same time, it 
was left to be inferred, that the lash was the only stimulant of labour 
that could be depended on. On pointing out these inconsistencies, it " 
was remarked by one of the members of the committee, in terms which 
would sound strangely in any other language : — " il y a done Messieurs, 
une certaine contradiction dans ce que vous nous avez fait 1' honneur de 
nous dire." The answer to this remark volunteered by M. de Jabrttn 
is not a little curious. Ahnost all the negroes of Guadaloupe, he says, 
have the means of saving money from the produce of their Saturday, 
although Saturday is held to belong to the master quite as much as any 
other day of the week. On that day he is not watched so closely as 
on others. It is on Saturday that he is compelled to work in his garden 
in order to provide for his subsistence during the week ; and if the 
garden is not properly cultivated, the slave is punished. The only 
3, that the lash is not impending over him when engaged at 



160 
his work, thus illustrating the difference between time and quantity as 
the measure of labour. According to M. db Jabrun, the Saturday's 
savings are compulsory, and would not be made but from the fear of 
punishment. 

In the Isle of Bourbon the food of the slave population is pro- 
vided from abroad, and the negroes are compelled to labour on the 
plantations during the whole of the week without intermission. Even 
Tinder these circumstances, it is admitted that accumulations frequently 
take plaee ; but these arc aseribed to any eause but a willingness to 
labour, sueh as the liberality of the master, the thieving of the slave, 
and the raising of poultry, and other domestic animals, which it seems 
can be effeeted without much indulgenee on the part of the planter. 

It is equally desirable in the Preneh islands, and in the British 
colonies, as a stimulant to voluntary labour, that the negroes should be 
encouraged to raise the sugar eane on the piece of the land which the 
planter has every where been accustomed to plaee at their disposal, for 
the purpose of raising garden stuffe and provisions. Those who are 
unprovided with the neeessary implements, should be encouraged to 
exert themselves by a supply of tools and manure, and even in some 
cases, by moderate advances of money ; as, until habits of foresight are 
created, it is not to be expected that the negro will be willing to wait 
for twelve or fifteen months, and still less for two years, as in some 
parts of Trinidad, until he is able to earry the produce of his industry 
to his master's sugar mill. At Barbadoes the progress of civilization 
and its attendant habits of providence and foresight, are so far advanced 
among the negro population, that they are not only willing to wait 
the tardy returns of the sugar crop, but in general, manifest such a 
decided preference for the growing of canes, as often to eompel them to 
buy at' an enhanced price, their own ground provisions in the market. 
The eonsequenee, however, is already highly favourable to the general 
prosperity of that island, and to the inerease of its exportable pro- 
ductions ; a large proportion of the sugar manufactured in Barbadoes, 
not less I have been assured than ten per cent, of the whole, being the 
produee of the eanes thus raised in the negro provision grounds. 

There seems to be no good reason, in faet, why this principle should 
not be earried a great deal further than has ever yet been suggested in 
West India husbandry. The division of labour between the culture 
of the cane and the manufacture of the sugar is easy and natural. 



The 



161 
present practice although nearly universal, is only a proof that the 
business of sugar-making is still in its infancy. The process of manu- 
facturing sugar is not more intimately connected with the growth of 
the cane, than the business of the London brewer is with the raising 
of hops or barley; andif the sugar manufacturers in Prance had been 
restricted to the use of the beets they had grown on their own estates, 
with the aid of their own labourers, that formidable rival to the sugar 
planter in the French West Indies, would, perhaps, never have been 
able to establish itself so firmly with all the aid and protection it has 
hitherto received from the government. 

The beet-root sugar manufacturer has no need, any more than the 
brewer or distiller, for the possession of land beyond the walls of his 
establishment ; and in all probability, before many years are over, the 
same course of proceeding will be adopted in the sugar colonies, where 
a separation of the business of the manufacturer from that of the 
planter, would doubtless be attended with the same beneficial effects. 
The erection of a sugar manufactory in the northern departments of 
Prance, and in other countries of continental Europe, where the business 
is practically understood, is received by the farmers in the neighbour- 
hood invariably and infallibly as a security and a pledge, that if they 
raise a field of beet-root, a market is open to them, the advantages of 
which will bear an exact proportion to the shortness of the interval 
between the one and the other. The same thing would undoubtedly 
happen in the "West Indies, if a sugar manufactory were set down in 
a suitable situation, surrounded by the possessions of free-negro culti- 
vators, who, as soon as they reach the degree of civilization, which 
already prevails in Barbadoes, with the habits of providence and fore- 
sight, which are its natural and immediate fruits, will not only plant 
the cane in sufficient abundance, but will bring it to the mill at a much 
cheaper rate, than the manufacturer himself could afford to raise it by 
the unprofitable combination of two distinct branches of industry. In 
several of the West India islands, English, French, and Spanish, and 
even in St. Domingo, I have seen the free-negro loading himself with 
yams, sweet potatoes, and other ground provisions, and carrying them 
to a distance of twenty, and even five-and-twenty miles to market, 
receiving not more thau a dollar, perhaps, for the whole price of his 
burthen; including in that price his whole remuneratio nfor the culti- 
vation of the ground, providing the seed, and last though not least, 



aanying the produee to market. If the sugar-planter, under the 
present system, were to establish his maehinery at a tenth part of these 
distanees from the fields on which his eanes were to he raised, he eould 
scarcely he expeeted to earry on his business to advantage, but by 
giving the better elass of negroes an interest, more or less direct in the 
produee of the erop, and by eneouraging such as have not the same 
eonfidenee in the future, by means of moderate pecuniary advanees ; so 
much for instanee, after the planting of the eanes, and so mueh after 
eaeh of the necessary weedings, reserving the bulk of the negro's remu- 
neration until he has absolutely eut down the crop and delivered it at 
the mill J the advantages to all parties would probably be sueh, as to 
demonstrate the unreasonableness of those who complain of the unwil- 
lingness of the negro to labour, before they have convineed him that 
his toil is to meet with au adequate reward. It is by sueh means as 
these, and by identifying the interest of the labourer with that of the 
proprietor of the soil, that the "West India eolonies are hereafter to 
be rendered far more prosperous and productive, under a system of 
voluntary labour, than ever they have been under the influenee of 
the lash. The negro would be inspired by the feeling of a common 
interest, to promote the prosperity of his landlord or his master, and 
would thus himself beeorne strongly and sineerely attaehed to the soil. 
By sueh means also the celebrated Fotjrrier maxim, so triumphantly 
quoted by the opponents of abolition in the Freneh colonies, would 
not merely be neutralized, but in the hands of its promoters might be 
employed as a powerful argument against the eontinuanee of slavery : — 
" Tout acte philanthropique est hors des voies de la nature s'il conduit 
au declin de I 'Industrie'' 

Dr. BOWSING then rose to introduce the French deputation.— I have 
great pleasure in performing the part allotted to me. My friends from France 
have not the privilege of speaking or understanding our language. They 
are men whom I have known for many years, and who have always 
been engaged usefully and successfully in promoting the great principles of 
liberty and emancipation. No man has devoted himself with more zeal, or 
with more eloquence to that cause than our friend, M. Isambert. In the 
tribunal where he occupies so exalted a station, in the Chamber of Deputies 
as a representative of the French people, his voice has always been raised, 
and often successfully raised, in favour of the negro slave. He is specially 
selected to represent his country in this Convention, and I am sure thai , you 
will welcome him with all the cordiality he deserves. The name oi M. CMj- 
„ iro can scarcely be unknown to you. His history also is associated with 
the most interesting struggles. He it was, Israelite as he is, who defended 
the Protestants of the Garde" from the persecutions of the fanatical Catholics, 



163 

froni .1816 to 1825 ; he it was, who in 1830, defended the Minister of Publie 

Instruction when the excited opinion of Franee would willingly have eon- 

n^etd ; m ^° the SCaff ° ld J and he !t i§ "° W Wll ° is selected T "brethren to 

suceesi! ma T ° ^ ^ app6a1 ' wMch * have no douM wil1 be a 
suceessful one, m favour of his persecuted brethren. 

M. ISAMBERT then rose and was received with the most enthusiastic 
eheenng, and addressed the Convention in French, the substanee of 
which was thus conveyed by Dr. Bowbing. 

1™ fri ^ d be 1 giDS hy entreatin g y° ur Mnd consideration, from the em- 
auXv ^ ™ der .^ c * he *>*> U*«M, being obliged to speak to an 
o^K ? US m ' aDgUage n0t theh " 0Wn " He h °V es t0 have another 
ZT r Ug -T 7 mUCb int ° detail on tlle ^«Son, and of furnishing 
he dnnT T vf th ° Se faCtS Whieh he deems »*P°rtant, and which 

he doubts not you will receive with interest. He should deem it a privilege 

l^lt^™' , .? frlendS Witl Wh ° m he is as *>ciated, had the means 
of gathering round them bodies like this, to whom they could state tbe evils 
tllZTJ'J^ ™ hose ™ & ™™e they could employ for the furtheranee of 
henZ ^ ^ f at ^ vernmellt is «> constituted, that it is appre- 

hensive of an outbreak of public enthusiasm; there is a fear that public 
tan T r' n °? e C T tr ° Ued ' a " d ihe eonseqneaee is, that questions impor- 
tant as this have been delegated to small bodies, selected by the government 
out of persons of high influence and rank. The friends of abolition in France, 
It™' are de P"ved of many of the means flf co . Deration mdMllence 

hlvnt no CT t f glandl ° ne SiDgk SOdet y exists in the «PiW. tut 

having no branches in the provinces, it has very little means of action on the 
countaym general. Still the government have done much for the eause and 

that vo e u tfr' fTT \ th t f0I ' mati ° n ° f th6Se ^mmittees. He entreats 
that you will not he too hasty in blaming the government for not having 

It it C^r?^^ ° ne f tbe diffiCUltieS ° f that government has beef 
that it has undertaken so much. In 1830, they took charge, not only of one 
hutm anymo nt0l , questiong eonneeted ^ liberty /and the 

oTen 1TZ anS1 ^ fr ? m ba ™£ had -ore on their hands than Ibey have 
been able to aceomphsh, is one of the great causes wby they bave not done 
moie up to the present moment in favour of the objeet which we have met 
o promote. The Freneli feelings are so exeitable, and the government has 
so nmcb apprehension of their being allowed full action on the public passions, 

keSaS 1 t t JUSt ; fieati0 * ° f S ° mething wUch ma ^ iave WO-ed 
hke hesitation on this question. He entreats the pnblie to remember, that 
± ranee was the first nation that abolished slavery-abolished it in their own 
w u + K T^ 11 ^ ln tbS C ° nvention wil l enable him to answer, and answer 
well tbe ealumny, that the emancipators of the slave are only moved by selfish 

Sorest f Tw r" T^T bGen SUted iQ *»»* a » d often Sd 
m foieign states, that England has made ber great saerifiee in carrying eman- 
cipation not from the love of liberty, not from any interest felt inVe'on- 

ftSrf l^f V6 ' ?"* fr ° m S ° me C ° neealed and SOrdid motive which it is 
fancied had been diseovered in the course of British legislation. But he 
came here and found, that the attention of the Convention was directed not 
only to the s.tuation of the blaeks in the West Indies, but that your bene- 
volence expanded itself to tbe East Indies, to Ceylon, and to every part of 
the world where slavery exists; be found a wide and glorious philanthropy 
and if the accusation should be again repeated in the Chamber of Depute, 



164 

and yon should be charged with any other motive than a beneficent and 
a Christian one, his voice will not be wanting in your vindication. When 
the honour was done him of sending him to this Convention, he felt 
that it was, perhaps, recollected that he was the individual, who, in 
the year 1834, mooted in the Chamber of Deputies the question of 
legislation against slavery and the slave-trade. The reward he met with 
at the time was that usually apportioned to those who took a pro- 
minent part in these discussions. He was violently vituperated and calum- 
niated by a salaried press. The funds of the colonists were employed 
to cast obloquy and opprobrium on the friends of the negro. But notwith- 
standing this he persevered, and had been the happy instrument of calling 
the attention of the chamber to the situation in which the free black popu- 
lation of the colonies had been left. The statements then made awakened 
so much of public attention, and created such an interest in the Chamber, 
that they had been enabled to extend protection over the slaves, and to place 
them in a very different condition from tbat in which they found them when 
the question was first agitated. It was necessary that the Convention should 
know why the Chamber of Deputies had been so long mute. It arose from 
the want of some mighty master mind, that would devote its energies with 
untiring perseverance to the subject. France had not found honorable and 
distinguished men resembling those who moved the public opinion of Eng- 
land. Out of doors there was no Clarkson to appeal to the people— within 
the Chambers there was no Wilberforce. But still the Revolution, amid 
its horrors and its glories, certainly did produce many advocates for the 
slave. Condobcet, Mirabeau, Lafayette, and the Abbe Gregoire, lent 
their important assistance, and something was done to advance the great 
work. He was, however, anxious that the Convention should understand 
that slavery and the slave-trade had never been recognized by any act of the 
French Legislature. They were introduced into the colonies by particular 
treaties, not by any act resembling an act of Parliament— but in fact, 
by an expression of absolute power. But even so far back as the years 1315 
and 1321, a monarch of France, declared that France ought to be in reality 
what it is in name, the kingdom of the Franks, the kingdom of the free. 
It was not till the time of Louis xm. that slavery obtaiued any thing like 
an organization, when the merchants, under the pretence of colonization, 
availed themselves of the services of the slaves: Its existence was ouly 
tolerated never sanctioned ; and even the Code Noir, the black code as it is 
called, and the name well represented its character, has many humane 
stipulations in favour of the negro. It asserts in many parts that no 
dishonour attaches to a particular colour of the skin ; it recognizes the 
rite of marriage, and the possession of civil privileges by emancipated negroes, 
and in fact, looks upon the negro with something like an eye of brotherhood. 
He again called the attention of the Convention to the fact, that the existence 
of slavery was due to the exercise of absolute power ; but in the time of 
Henry ii. when some African slaves were wrecked on the coast of France, 
liberty was given to them by that Monarch, who declared that slaves 
could not exist in the country over which he ruled. One of the most 
celebrated priests of France, devoted his solitary effort before the tribunals, 
at a period antecedent to the Revolution, in pleading but one cause, and that, 
the cause of the slave. He referred to the exertions of Neckar, before one 
of the most illustrious assemblies of modern times— the National Assembly 
of France, where the people were gathered together by their representa- 



165 

tives, after 200 years of slavery had passed over the French nation. To 
that assembly, at the re-birth of their liberties, and the organization of their 
Institute, Neckak addressed these words, "The time will perhaps come, 
gentlemen, when you will carry your interests further ; the day will arrive 
when you will assist with your representations, the deputies of the colonies of 
France, you will throw a look of compassion upon that unfortunate people 
whom you have tranquilly made a barbarous object of your commerce ; on 
those^ men, alike to yourselves in thought, and especially in the sad pre- 
rogative of suffering ; on those men, whom without any regard for their 
mournful complainings, you packed up in the bottom of a vessel, over whom 
the sails were spread to convey them to the place where chains were waiting 
for them. But what nation is more called upon than the French to soften 
slavery, which you consider necessary. No nation knows better the evils 
inseparable from the slave-trade j evils which produce devastation in two 
worlds. "What greater claim is there on you than to turn a friendly regard on 
men who might aid us in our civil liberties ? One distinguished nation has 
already given the signal of enlightened compassion. Already there cau 
be no doubt, in spite of party politics, the supreme cause must be brought 
before the tribunal of nations. What higher satisfaction, what greater glory 
than that the States General should have the presidency in the midst of 
an enlightened age. But woe, woe, and shame to the French nation, if she 
does uot recognise the importance of her position— if she does not seek 
to become worthy of it, if such an ambition were too great for her capacity." 
My friend refers to the great impression which was made on the national 
assembly, by a few words uttered by the illustrious Lafayette. They 
were to this effect, " You have declared, that all men who have a domi- 
cile, who possess a dwelling, who pay the taxes, and against whom you can 
urge none of the incapacities which are declared by the constitution, that 
these men shall be citizens. And are not the negroes men % The question 
is condensed into this. For me, I believe no doubt can be raised on this 
point ; and it was to proclaim this simple truth that I mounted the tribune." 
The declaration was received with shouts of applause, and produced a pro- 
found impression on the assembly and the nation. But unhappily that revo- 
lutionary torrent, which soon afterwards succeeded, carried away all attention 
from this question. Afterwards, indeed, on the flags of St. Domingo, these 
words were inscribed, "Brave blacks! France recognises your rights and 
your liberties." But after the peace of Amieus, Buonaparte, who had not 
experienced then the lessons of adversity which he afterwards received 
re-established slavery and the slave-trade. At that time, public opinion had' 
so little representation in any of the bodies nominally representative, that 
they could by no means control the act of the Sovereign. Subsequently, 
however, to the fall of Buonaparte and his second rise, during the 100 days 
of his government, one of the acts that distinguished him, and probably of all 
his acts, that which most honoured him, was his decree which abolished the 
slave-trade. The miseries and sufferings of the slaves at St. Domingo, and 
the temporary liberty enjoyed at Guadaloupe, much advanced the ques- 
tion. In the year 1814, during the reign of the Bourbons, a law exceedingly 
unfavourable to the slaves was passed, which prohibited marriage between 
the blacks and whites, and the absurd plea was urged as a motive for this 
legislation, that the marriages between the Moors and Christians in Spain 
had caused degeneracy in the Spanish blood. In 1823 and 1824, some pro- 
gress was made, in consequence of many public discussions on the subject, 



166 



and it was again introduced into the Chambers. But in 1830, in consequence 
of the last revolution, the slave-trade was utterly and formally abolished. 
He anticipates that the abolition of slavery will be a necessary consequence 
of that step. They were menaced with the consequences of agitating the 
question ; they were told that if it were mooted again in the French Cham- 
bers, the consequence would be outbreaks, violence, and revolutions in the 
colonies themselves. But the answer to that is to be found iu the fact, that 
the colonies have never been so tranquil, as since the period when this agita- 
tion commenced. Of late two very interesting reports have been drawn up 
and laid before the Chambers, emanating from men distinguished alike by 
their high social position, one being M. Bemusat, the present minister of 
the interior, and the other by M. de Tocciueville, the author of" Democracy 
in America." These reports establish principles, the developments of which 
cannot but lead eventually to the overthrow of slavery. They state, that though 
they should not be unwilling to consider the question of indemnity, yet they 
will not recognise the claim to indemnity as a right, or that man can fairly 
possess a property in man. The principle appears to him already triumphant, 
and you may consider the cause as really gained. Even in the colonies them- 
selves, public opinion has made great progress, and his friend General Ber- 
tband, who accompanied Buonaparte to St. Helena, and who is himself a 
considerable "West India proprietor, has informed him that matters cannot 
remain as they are, and that ere long the great cause must have a victorious 
issue. There will, no doubt, be great resistance to such a step in Martinique, 
but he anticipates great results from the growing influence of the free-coloured 
population. In Guadaloupe there is less resistance, and the deputy who is 
now in Paris, is sanguine in his anticipations of the final and complete 
overthrow of slavery. French Guiana is incapable of offering a long resist- 
ance, and though in the island of Bourbon the slave proprietors are very 
influential, still he does not believe, that when the voice of France shall 
speak out, that voice will not be heard ; and that the will of France declared 
by her legislature can by any possibility be resisted by her colonies. He de- 
sires to introduce M. Cremteux to the Convention. He comes from a body 
whose civil rights have been recognised in France. They are really in a poli- 
tical position perfectly equal to that of their Christian brethren. One of the 
body is at this moment a member of the Chamber of Deputies. The Jews 
have been raised to the highest seats of the magistracy, and he anticipates 
that his friend, at no distant time, will be inevitably called to labour with him 
in the glorious cause of emancipation in the legislative assembly of France. 

Mr. JUSTICE JEREMIE, (from Ceylon).— One point in M. Isambert's 
address has escaped Dr. Bowring, namely, that in Martinique the free 
coloured population now go hand in hand with the slaves. 

M. CREMIEUX then addressed the Convention in French, which Dr. 
Bowring thus translated. 

I cannot express to you, gentlemen, the emotions which I feel at this 
moment, the most overpowering feelings penetrate my heart, and entirely 
overcome me. First, I feel the most profound admiration for those English 
customs aud manners which have given to the spirit of association such 
irresistible power of proclaiming its objects, nobly, and in the face of the 
world — objects the most liberal and most worthy of the enlightened age 
that has approved^ and adopted them, a spirit of association, which onr 
laws, I am. sorry to say, prohibit, to the sorrow and despair of all those 



w. 



generous men, who in France eall loudly for the abolition of such n 
enaetments. I feel also overpowered by the thought that an Israelite should 
appeal' in this assembly, where he has been received with so mueh favour, to 
demand with an enthusiasm equal to yours, the abolition of slavery. All 
liberties are united, and all persecutions are associated. Persecute, and you 
will make slaves ; proclaim the equality of all, and you will create citizens. 
It is thus that your O'Connell, (whom we should envy to England, if the 
glory of England at this moment was not amalgamated with that of Franee in 
this great work) in demanding complete equality for Ireland, proclaimed at 
the same time the principles of humanity and justiee, and has rendered for 
the future all persecutiou impossible against men who eonquered equality for 
themselves. 

ise to order. A reference has been made to 
to embraee the whole eommunity of England 
grateful for the labours of Mr. O'Connell, in 
; but I cannot join a society which has any- 



try; supposing 
danee with the 
t to our friend 



Eev. J. H. JOHNSON,—] 
exertions in Ireland. We wi 
without respeet of parties. I i 
the cause of negro emaneipati 
thing political in it. 

Dr. BOWRINGr.— Our friend eomes from a foreign coi 
that he should utter a sentiment which is not quite in acet 
feeling of some members of the Convention, I would put 
whether it is desirable that he should be iuterrupted. 

Rev. J. Ii. JOHNSON— I am perfectly satisfied with the explanation 
given, — the geutleman is a foreigner. I do hope, however, that in eonncxion 
with this subject, party polities will not be introdueed. 

M. CREMIEUX resumed. 

I feel great pleasure in joiniug this Convention, because I am a de- 
scendant of those Hebrews who were the first to proclaim the abolition 
of slavery ; and I this day only repeat what the Jews have always ad- 
mitted in priuciple. Indeed, it is not without interest that I now recall 
to your recollection, that it was the seet of the Essene whieh first de- 
elared slavery to be a erime, and that it was, to use the expression of 
Josephtjs, a perpetual cause of perturbation for the state. In. this assembly 
this must entitle them to the highest glory ; and, I may add, that Jesus 
Christ himself, considered as a great legislator and moralist, has derived the 
principles of Christian charity from the mild and pure rules of the sect of the 
Essenes.* And yet these very Jews, who proelaimed the abolition of slavery, 

* M. Cremieux speaks as a Hebrew, holding the divine origin and present 
authority of Judaism, and not reeognising the religion of our blessed Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ ; but it would be a mistake to suppose, and a misre- 
presentatiou to assert, that the Convention gave its slightest sanetion to the 
disparagement of Christianity. There were no symptoms of assent to this part 
of Mons. C.'s address, by those who understood him when speaking in his mm 
language, nor again when these sentiments were translated into ours by Dr. 
BowniNG ; on the contrary, a general and decided indication of disapproba- 
tion and denial was given by the assembly. This in fact was the case, when- 
ever in the eourse of debate, a sentiment escaped any speaker, which went in 
the slightest degree to impugn either Christianity itself, or any of its grand 
and distinguishing doctrines : and though the Convention was ealled on public 
grounds,and for an object whieh is interesting to philanthropists of every nation 
under heaven, and of every form of religion, it may be affirmed unhesitatingly 
that its charaeter, spirit, and proceedings wero deoidedly Christian.— Editors. 



who have conferred on Christianity one of its most worthy titles to glory ; 
these very Jews have themselves, in more recent times, been held as slaves 
even in Christian countries. What emotions must I not experience, in 
coming here .to- join my voice to those which are raised to demand the 
abolition of slavery ! And permit me, without digressing from the subject of 
my discourse, to add, that the Jews were the first to abolish human sacrifices, 
and to turu away with horror from the shedding human blood in their 
religious ceremonies ; and yet, at this moment in the East, in those very 
countries in which their religion — the basis of every other — was first pro- 
claimed, a horrible calumny, resuscitated from the barbarian ages of the 
West, accuses them of shedding Christian blood as a matter of religious duty, 
to moisten the unleavened bread of the Passover. It is true — and I take the 
earliest opportunity of acknowledging it — that in this country, civilized 
England, the nation, the press, the government, have shown themselves 
indignant at this base calumny ; and I perceive, from the approbation which 
you now manifest, that you repudiate it with the contempt it deserves. Yes, 
persecution engeuders slavery. Yes, all persecutions are akin to one 
another, and this was well understood by that [venerable Bishop Gregoire, 
who, while he raised his voice in favour of the emancipation of the blacks, 
at the same time demanded the emancipation of the Jews. Well, in this 
assembly of Christians, here is a Jew who demands for the blacks the com- 
plete abolition of slavery. His enthusiasm is equal to yours ; aud his words 
have been listened to by you with the truest sympathy. Besides, is there a 
cause more worthy of public favour ? When God created the first man and 
woman, after he had laid the foundations of a future society, ' in these words 
"Increase and multiply," he said to man,— displaying the whole of nature 
before him — "This is thy patrimony, this is thy kingdom ; earth, and all its 
animals are submitted to thy power." But where do we find that the Creator has 
said, " upon this earth which I deliver over to thee, two races of men shall exist 
at the same time, the one, absolute and master, because he has a white skin ; 
the other, a slave and obedient, because he has a black one. Two classes of 
the same creature shall be spread over the world ; the one, shall be called the 
class of the oppressors ; the other, the class of the oppressed. All shall 
possess the same life, and the same breath of life shall animate your bodies ; 
but among you, the one class shall cast the other's fetters, and shall sell their 
brethren iu the public markets as brute beasts 1 " The slavery of man by man 
is a perpetual crime against humanity. Cast far from you those absurd 
accusations which would degrade one part of creation. Persecutors are ever 
fertile in arguments to give a colour to their oppression. The ■ blacks, say 
they, are of a degraded nature, their degenerate race can never be raised to 
an equality with us, they cannot understand liberty ; a maxim as false as it 
is immoral. It is slavery which degrades human nature, because liberty is its 
law, its patrimony. Instead of keeping the blacks in a state of degradation, 
open for them the career which Providence has given to all men ; raise them 
to an equality with yourselves, and they well know how to preserve their 
level. Slavery occasions vice— it is not vice that is the cause of slavery. 
Would you wish an historical example in proof of this 2 Look at the country 
of the arts, of civilization, of letters. Look at Greece. Oh, how noble, how 
grand was she in her sacred times of liberty ! What has she become in a 
state of servitude ? Say, can you recognise in the Greek slave the desceudant 
of Leonidas, or Pericles? Abolish slavery, proclaim equality, it is a noble 
and glorious mission. This glory, this mission, henceforth belongs to the 



alliance of two great nations, who, long divided by warfare now united in the 
cause of the civilization of the world. With what. eclat will the words of 
England and of France be received by the nations of the world ! How sub- 
limely have they been already re-echoed from that very continent of America 
where so many private interests oppose the emancipation of the blacks • and 
where so many generous hearts attend only to the sacred interests of 
humanity ! See with what transport their representatives unite themselves in 
this Hall, to their brethren of England and Frauce. Yes, we shall attain this 
glorious object by our holy alliance. I say not this from vanity, but from a 
just, and honourable, and proud confidence. It is an ^controvertible truth. 
To the united will of France and England proclaiming the equality of man- 
kind, who could now resist? To the united will of France and England pro- 
claiming the abolition of human slavery, what power could oppose an 
obstacle ? Here I pause. I will not trespass further on the attention you 
have so kindly extended to me, and I shall ever consider as the happiest day 
of my existence, that in which I have been permitted to give utterance to my 
sentiments in such an assembly as the present. I shall dwell with delight on 
the recollection ; from this moment my life will acquire in my own eyes, 
more consistency, and more real importance than it has ever hitherto 
possessed. 

M. ALCIDE LAURE, briefly addressed the Convention in French, Dr. 
Bowbino again translating as follows — 

After the illustrious orators you have just heard, and whose sentiments 
and sympathies have been explained to the Convention with so much talent 
aud intelligence by Dr. Bowuing, it may, perhaps, be deemed presump- 
tuous on my part to be desirous of occupying that place from whence, 
ftw the last three days, so many of the illustrious men, both of Great 
Britain and America have addressed the Convention. But I feel the neces- 
sity imposed upon me, in the name of the young magistracy of France, of 
whom I am the organ, of addressing a few words to the Convention, to express 
the great interest I feel in the question. Yes, the time of the abolition of 
slavery is at hand. The present memorable manifestation of the opinion of 
the world, must at length affect the conscience of the governors of that 
world ; and those who have now neither name, nor family, nor nation, will 
be re-instated in their name, their family, and their freedom ; and to the 
eternal honour of England, it will be recorded to the remotest ages of the 
world, that this great assembly which has so nobly discussed the important 
question of slavery, assembled in 1840 in her metropolis; and that the 
emancipation of the black and coloured races was accomplished in the nine- 
teenth century, as the work of God through the progress of civilization. 

Mr. JUSTICE JEREMIE.— As you are now discussing the subject of French 
slavery, or rather slavery in the French colonies, I think I can, with propriety 
address a few words to the Conventiou. It so happens that I have held office 
in those colonies which formerly belonged to France, but which now form a 
part of the British empire ; and that I am consequently intimately acquainted, 
not only with the system which did prevail in those colonies, but with that 
which still prevails throughout them ; aud being thus conversant with their 
laws and regulations, I have no hesitation in saying, that every reason that 
could be gh . n for the abolition of slavery in the British dependencies, exists 
with equal force for abolishing it among our neighbours. My friend, M. 
Isambert, has well observed, that the Coih Noir, however atrocious, c 



170 

certain clauses favourable to the negro ; but lie might have added, that under 
the debasing effects of slavery, those clauses were all but repealed by sub- 
sequent enactments of the greatest cruelty ; and where they still exist in 
words, popular prejudice has rendered them nugatory in effect. He has stated 
one strong fact, that the Code Noir allows of marriages between the blacks and 
the whites j but he is also, in common with myself aware, that not only were 
these marriages subsequently prohibited by public opinion ; but that even after 
the peace of Amiens, after great aud glorious principles in favour of the negro 
had been promulgated in this country for years as well as in France, a clause 
was inserted in their regulations by which coloured persons were at liberty 
to leave property to the whites, but the whites were prohibited from leaving 
property to coloured persons, though free. I shall now address a few words 
to this assembly with reference to the general principles, by which it strikes 
me they should be guided in their endeavours to obtain the total annihilation 
of slavery. To maintain any distinction of colour or of race, to make any 
attempt whatever to bolster up slavery permanently, by introducing regula- 
tions called ameliorative, is vicious and erroneous. I know this from personal 
experience. I introduced such measures into our colonies, aud can bear tes- 
timony to their ultimate failure. It is true that the manufacture of sugar in 
our colonies is at the lowest ebb ; but whence does this arise 1 Immense 
quantities of sugar were grown there long before those extraordinary contri- 
vauces in machinery were made at home, which have raised Manchester aud 
Liverpool to the position those towns now occupy. Why then is the manu- 
facture of the colonial staple still in its infancy 1 Man was free at home, but 
his energies were borne down by oppression in the colonies. So even 
during the short period that liberty has existed, there is a great improvement 
in these matters in the colonics themselves. In proof, I shall mention an inci- 
dent which has come uuder my own observation. Seven or eight years ago, a 
gentleman, a large proprietor of slaves in some of our dependencies, though 
warmly inclined in favour of the slave system, had penetration enough to 
perceive that public opinion would shortly lead to its destruction ; he, there- 
fore, adopted precautions in time for a change which he knew was inevitable. 
He went among your agricultural population, and selected, as labourers, men 
recommended by a certificate from a clergyman, and most of whom had gained 
agricultural prizes. He engaged them as farm servants for seven years, and 
they proceeded to his establishments in the West Indies. I met him a few 
days ago, and being anxious to ascertain the effect of his experiment, I asked 
him how it worked. He informed me that two men were now doing with 
the plough what ten men could not formerly accomplish with the hoe. This 
is one of the effects of entire emancipation. That there has been a diminution 
of sugar cultivation throughout the colouies I acknowledge is a fact ; but 
when I am told' that it is a proof of the failure of emancipation, I beg to 
remiud my informants, that this was foretold before emancipation took place, 
as one of its necessary cousequences, and as a certain proof that emancipation 
would not be a failure. Of whom was the working population of the West 
Indies composed ? Why, one-half of them were women ; and if the men were 
fit for freedom, they would never suffer women to be driven to the labours of 
the field. This accounts for a diminution of near one-half of the labourers. 
Again, what was the labour-system adopted in the colouies ? A system of com- 
plete monopoly. Sugar and coffee were produced anjd cultivated, while shoes, 
chairs, tables, and every household article were obtained from home. But 
what was one of the first effects of freedom ? The abolition of those restrictions 



171 

which prevented men from engaging in the employments n 
and profitable to them. The negro now works for the man who will supply 
him best with the articles he most needs. Is that a favourable or an unfa- 
vourable result ? Does it show that the negro is fit or unfit for freedom ? 
And now, what is the definitive result of this measure ? It is satisfactory, it is 
glorious ; for although exportation has in some degree diminished, your 
imports, including everything administering to the comfort and well being 
of the people, arc rapidly increasing. That exportation, the fruits of coercion, 
all that was gained by the lash is, thank God, the only thing which has dimi- 
nished, and even this diminution will be but temporary. I shall conclude by 
bearing my humble testimony to the importance of the services of those two 
gentlemen who are delegated by the French society, with one of whom I have 
had the happiness of being acquainted for some years, and who have addressed 
the Convention, Messrs. Isambert and Cremiebx. I, for one, never can 
forget the effect produced throughout the islands with which I have been 
connected, by the manly, able, bold, and independent addresses of my friend 
M. Isambert, not only at the tribune, but at the bar. All that could be 
said was said by him, in defence of the rights of our coloured and enslaved 
fellow-men. It is only his own delicacy which has induced him, as a French 
magistrate of the highest distinction, to withhold, in the interesting account 
he has given yon of French philanthropy, one important fact, that whilst the 
name of Granville Sharpe will ever continue dear to lis, from his having 
first proved that slavery could not co-exist with British laws ; the highest 
courts in France had, forty or fifty years before, established the same 
principle. A negro having been brought to Paris by a French colonist, 
claimed his freedom as a matter of right, and the courts of France, after very 
mature deliberation, affirmed his claim. These are facts which I was con- 
vinced yon would be glad to hear ; I wiU not further occupy your attention, 
as each individual is very properly limited to time. All I can do is, to state 
the result of my experience, others can discuss principles much better than 
myself. When a day or two ago yon were engaged in considering the question 
of slavery in India and Ceylon, I would cheerfully have taken a part in the 
debate, had it not been that I am in official employment in that part of the 
world ; and I hold it my duty to prove worthy of that employment, by 
shewing fidelity to my employer. And all the knowledge which I have 
obtained of slavery there, has been the result of official information con- 
veyed to me in the public capacity which I still hold. Official employment, 
however, has not changed my heart ; and although I cannot communicate 
facts on this subject, my hopes, my wishes, and my prayers are always with 
yon. I had forgotten to make an observation with regard to the other 
gentleman who has addressed you, from France, M. Cremieux. He is a 
man distinguished for his liberality, and for his eminent philanthropy. And 
let me add, that in him yon have seen the author of some of the most 
splendid specimens of oratory of modern times. My friend Mr. O'Connell 
if he will allow me to call him so, has just mentioned to me, that the only 
instance in which all the Catholic members have ever voted together, was 
when the emancipation of the Jews was mooted in Parliament. They all 
concurred in granting it. Does not this prove the truth of M. Cremieux's 
opinion, that the result of oppression always is, and always will be, to cause a 
re-action, and thns to promote an ardent love of that liberty by which alone 
the happiness of the world can be secured. We have here then the Jew advo- 



172 

eating negro freedom ; we have the Catholic advocating Jewish liberty, and 
let me add for myself, that you have a thorough Protestant in heart and in 
spirit, maintaining the cause of liberty of every sect, colour and nation. 

Rev. W. KNIBB.— Though it is not my intention on the present occasion 
to go into a full discussion of the glorious results of negro emancipation, I 
could not forbear requesting that I might trespass for a moment or two on 
the attention of the Convention, to confirm the statement which has been 
made by the distinguished individual who lias just sat down, namely, that the 
diminution of sugar is not at all to be connected with the want of prosperity 
in the West India islands. The fact is, as he has distinctly stated, one 
cause of that diminution is the proper, the just withdrawal of females from 
the cultivation of the soil ; and one of the charges so generally brought 
against missionaries of differeut denominations, and also against Sir Lionel 
Smith, was this, that he with them used his influence in bringing about this 
much desired result. Never shall I forget the magnanimity of Sir Lionel's 
reply, which ought to be emblazoned in letters of gold. When he was 
requested by the Secretary of the Colonies to answer this charge, all he said 
was this, " I prefer the dictates of humanity to the policy of short-sighted 
planters." And we prefer those dictates too. But if this Convention for oue 
moment supposes, that the prosperity of the island of Jamaica depends upon 
the uurnber of hogsheads of sugar which she ships to Eugland, you entirely 
mistake the matter. The fact is, that in connexion with our own denomi- 
nation alone, a thousand persons have already become freeholders ; and if we 
cau but procure the disallowment of those iuiquitous laws, which I hope on a 
future occasiou to bring before you, in a very few years, we shall have the 
elective frauchise so much extended, that we shall have the power of return- 
ing as many black men to the House of Assembly as we please ; and we shall 
be fully able, and deterniinately willing, to take care of ourselves. The 
highest expectations that the most sanguine of the human race could have 
formed of emancipation have been more than realized. Vagrancy is unknown, 
a black beggar I have not seen, a pawnbroker's shop exists not through the 
island of Jamaica, the treadmills are turned rusty, and the gaols have been 
white-washed. But while there has been on the part of the peasautry an 
almost uuiversal willingness to labour wherever they have been fairly remu- 
nerated for it, the black man thinks that he lias quite as much right to 
labour for himself as to labour for any body else. I will just mention one fact. 

The CHAIRMAN.— This is departing from the order of business laid out 
for to-day. We shall all gladly hear Mr. Knibb, and auy other gentlemau 
on this subject when the time for its discussion arrives. 

Rev. W. KNIBB.— I did not intend to occupy two minutes longer, I merely 
avail myself of this opportunity lest there should be but few present when 
my turn comes, and I should be exceedingly sorry that a statement so likely 
to do good as that to which we have just listeued should want confirmation 
from the largest West India island which has been set free. The fact is 
this, the negroes have found that they can employ themselves more profitably 
than in the cultivation of sugar ; aud a member of my own congregation has 
undertakeu the repairing of roads. Instead of getting one shilling a day in 
the field, by paying black persons to assist him sixpence per day more than 
the planters will give them, he clears 12s. a day for himself. 

Mr. O'CONNELL — The kind indulgence with which you listened to me 
yesterday, is an imperative reason why I should trespass as shortly upon 



173 

your attention as the duty I have to perform will permit. My purpose in 
rising is, to propose that it he referred to a committee, to consider the proper 
form of au address to the French government and the French people, on the 
subject of Negro Slavery. The learned and distinguished gentleman on my 
left, has told yen that the condition of the negro has heen greatly ameliorated 
in the French West India colonies, and that there remains behind only one 
thing, and that is the emancipation of the negroes. I think that one thing is 
rather a considerable one. If we could get that, we might easily forgive them 
the rest. He has also told you that the Code Now contains most salutary 
regulations in many points, respecting conduct towards the negroes. But 
there is, I think, a postscript, and a fahlc in .iEsop shews to what it amounts. 
When the wolves were made commanders and protectors of the lamhs, the 
regulations to come into operation a fortnight hence for the protection of the 
lamhs were most excellent, hut the wolves ate them "before the fortnight had 
expired. That must really he the case with all regulations put into the hands 
of slave-owners. It is literally employing the two-legged wolves to take care 
of the lamhs. I was not a little pleased with the speech of my learned and 
respected friend, the judge, who sits next me, for I am proud to say, that we 
have heen friends of some years' standing, and have heen made so from the 
sympathy we hear to the same sacred cause of human liberty. The French 
colonies require oue thing, that is the emancipation of the negroes. Every 
thing else is idle ; every thing else is ludicrous ; you have done every thing, 
when you do that ; unless you do that, you do nothing. Emancipation is the 
one thing necessary. Let me point out to the Couvention the situation of the 
French colonies, with respect to their slave population. I will first take 
Martinique. It is quite true, as has been stated here, that the negroes of 
Martinique were emancipated during the French revolution, hut it arose more 
from the absence of tyranny to restrain them, than from a legal recognition 
of it. Buonaparte, after the treaty of Amiens, sent a large force to the West 
Indies to re-couquer slavery, and compel men free to be enslaved again. 
There is a mighty magic about military names, but I cannot forbear protesting 
against glory being attributed to men who wade through slaughter to a bad 
eminence. Men necessarily familiarised with shedding human blood, may be 
fit to^ be hailed as conquerors, but they are, in my opinion, the essential 
enemies of civilization. I mention the re-conquest of Martinique only to 
state this fact ; the unfortunate negroes did not willingly submit to be again 
reduced to slavery. Being freemen, they did what Englishmen would do, 
they fought for freedom, and they defended themselves to the last. Being 
overpowered by numbers they were driven to the mountain fort ; five hundred 
and fifty who survived, consulted what measures they should take. They 
defended the place until the French troops made a breach, and when the French 
entered, the negroes blew themselves up, and left the survivors to trample over 
their dead carcases. This fact shews that we are quite safe in leaving to our 
negroes the protection of their own liberty, that they will most ernciently 
guard it against the tyranny of white legislation. The one thousand free- 
holders spoken of by Mr. Knibe, prove that they have a sense of the value of 
liberty, and that they are much better left to themselves, than interfered with 
by any regulations which we can make. Let America tremble in her iniquity 
when these facts come before her ; for they are men, the two millions and a 
half whom she holds in slavery. Their fears may give to the coloured p 
lation, that which their humanity would refuse. In Martinique there w 



d popn- 



174 

1837, 26,346 males, 39,666 females. Yet the marriages -were in that year, how 
many ? Fifteen. The number of births was 2,303. This is an awful picture 
for Christian people to behold. The number of deaths was 2,592. Those who 
have directed their attention to the subject, know that in England the popula- 
tion increases 15 per cent, in ten years, in Ireland Si per cent., but in Mar- 
tinique instead of an increase, there is a decrease of 289 in one year. Tims 
all those who in a proper state of society would have been born and brought 
np are murdered — I may say in the womb, or 'strangled in the birth. In 
Guadaloupe, the number of males in the same year, was 45,606 ; of females, 
48,985 ; of marriages, 19 ; of births, 1,857, and of deaths, 1,883 ; a falling off 
of only 26. In Cayenne or Guiana, the number of males was 8,523 ; of 
females, 7,617 ; of marriages, 43 ,• of births, 297 ; and of deaths, 628 ; being 
a decrease in the population of 331. The worst of all is the island of Bourbon, 
the number of males was 43,763 ; of females, 24,432 ; of marriages, none ; of 
births, 1,001 ; of deaths, 2,359 ; being a decrease of 1,358. In the other 
colonies, the females were more than the males, here it is the reverse, the 
males being nearly double the females. It can be accounted for only in one 
wav — the slave-trade and the introduction of fresh slaves. In the whole of 
these colonies there is a total of males, 124,238 ; of females, 120,700 ; of 
marriages, 77 ; of births, 5,458 ; of deaths, 7,462 ; and of decrease in popu- 
lation, 2,004. For what purpose do I use these facts ? The French nation is 
literally a great nation ; arts, and arms, and science, and literature adorn it. 
The French people are naturally a proud people, we think them a little vain 
in addition, bnt they have many things of which to be proud. I want to place 
that pictitre in the presence of the French people, to show them the horrors of 
those details, the abominations of these crimes, to proclaim to them the disgrace 
of continuing this system, and to call upon them, conjuring them in the name 
of that passion for glory, which they allow to ran riot aud cherish to excess, 
bnt above all, in the name of humanity, to terminate a system which produces 
abominations not less cruel to the negroes, than disgraceful to any civilized 
people. I do not mean to trespass upon you with further details, but I cannot 
help remarking, that in Guiana and Guadaloupe, the free populatiou taken 
together was 17,741, and that the increase of that free population iu one year 
was 835. That is still more remarkable, because there was not one single 
child of a black woman in that increase, they are all in the class of slaves, so 
that it was literally from the white population that the increase took place, 
shewing what the increase would really be if the negroes were as free as the 
whites. If there had been equal liberty for all, there would have \been that 
increased number of human beiugs to enjoy life and liberty, to be heirs of 
eternal redemption, to do honour to man, and to glorify God. Here is a 
picture ! — look on this side, and on that, and behold it exhibited in the face 
of Enrope. This is the great object for which we are met together. Did 
you hear the representation which Mr. Knibb gave yon of the advan- 
tages of emancipation in Jamaica. Did yon take cognizance of one fact 
— that only half the population labour now— that the women do not 
labonr? Now who is it that protects them from the toil of that labour, 
to which the females in this country are obliged, from their poverty, to 
submit, in order that they may purchase food ? Look at the emancipated 
negro man. He scorns to let his wife, his sister, or his daughter, work. He 
reads a lesson to white men, and to civilized Europe. The man works for 
wages, he leaves the wife and danghter at home. The female sex in the 



175 

West Indies is not disgraced by being put to occupations, which in civilized 
Em-ope they are obliged to pursue. Glory be to the character of the 
emancipated negro ! Oh let France read the facts— no crime has followed 
emancipation no riot, and no disturbance ! Even the ready pen of calumny 
has not dared to charge the negroes of the "West Indies with one single 
outrage. Have they injured their former masters ? The lash was scarcely 
dried with the clotted blood from the bleeding back of the negro when he 
was emancipated. Did he hold up that weapon in the face of the torturer 
and say, My day is come, and you shall encounter what you have inflicted ? 
No, a generous and Christian oblivion was cast over the crimes of the white 
man, and the negro stood emancipated, respecting the female sex, and feeliug 
his soul free from the slightest taint of guilt. It is a mighty consolation to us, 
even to me, the" humblest of you all, to see that result, to witness the cha- 
racter of man exalted. With what have weuotbeen threatened ? Was it not 
said, « Oh, don't veuture to emancipate the negroes. If you do they will outrage 
our wives and daughters ; they will slaughter our children, and sacrifice our- 
selves. _ We shall not be safe in the streets, nor sleep securely in our beds." 
Oh, it is now only that they can sleep in safety. I challenge the enemies of 
negro emaucipation to point me out a single instance of outrage. I take 
Jamaica in particular— but it applies to the rest of the islands— show me one. 
Why, as you have been told, the gaols are empty, the treadmills are rusty. 
Even that on which Joseph Sturge saw the females tortured, the skin torn 
from their feet as they huug from it — that mill was rusty with human gore— it 
is rusty now from the want of exercise. These are mighty changes. What 
then is the excuse for France contiuuing slavery. Let her listen to these facts. 
Jamaica has proved that the Frenchman will be as safe as the Englishman. 
Jamaica has proved, what ? That there will be no insurrcctiou, no violence, 
uo tumult ; that the negroes will rejoice with each other and praise God for 
having raised up good meu to give them emancipation. I introduce not this 
subject with the hope that a selfish motive will be introduced into the French 
Chambers to induce them to accede to this measure. But we are all crea- 
tures necessarily affected by selfish motives. What has been the conse- 
quence of emancipation ? More comfort to the negroes, less sugar for the 
planter. I wish that they had as much sugar as before, because the people 
of this country would then have it cheaper ; but sweet as it is, I think it is 
made sweeter still by the recollection that if the negro does not make sugar 
for another, it is because he is making something better for himself. The 
country requires a greater supply, but we will not consent to take it from the 
slave-owners, or to consume sugar the produce of slave labour. It would 
be a monstrous anomaly if we did. We should then give away twenty millions 
sterling for no other purpose than that of enriching other miscreants who 
deal in slaves. You cannot consent to it. It would be a reward to others to 
commit the crimes to which you have yourselves put an end. Let grocers 
know that. Petitions have been presented to the House with the modest 
entreaty to allow slave-grown' sugar to come into this country. This would 
be the proper momeut for France to act. Let her emancipate her negroes 
and then we will take French grown sugar. The question between colonial and 
beet-root sugar may be solved in the interests of humanity ; and the French 
agricultural interest,— for such are the indescribable advantages and emana- 
tions of goodness and justice— may be consulted as well as the French colonies, 
by opening another market for their produce. The moment they emancipate 



176 

their slaves, that instant the universal cry for the article will compel the 
government to reduce the duties on the free grown sugar of Franee. While 
they eontinue in crime, sowing the seeds of injustice, they must reap the 
bitter fruits of that criminality ; but the moment they take the position of 
justice, all its blessings will surround them. How true it is that justice and 
humanity go together. I did not intend to trespass one-half the time I have 
done ; I rose simply to bring before you the state of slavery in the Freneh 
colonies. I have not adduced half the details I might have done, and you 
will readily forgive me for not bestowing so mueh more of my tediousness 
upon you ; but I think I have done it sufficiently to convinee yon, that there 
is a case made out, and that addressing itself to the honour, the integrity, 
the humanity, the generosity of the Freneh nation, it will ensure us hearty 
eo-operation there ; and thus we shall gain another great and mighty nation 
to assist us in this cause. You never can have the slave-trade abolished 
so long as slavery exists ; human cupidity will necessarily break through 
every law. We shall abolish the slave-trade, not by combining in parti- 
cular phalanxes amongst ourselves, excluding one and taking in another ; 
but by a eombination not only wide as the British isles, and based upon the 
goodness of British and Irish hearts, but extended to other mighty nations. 
If we have the power and will of Franee with us, what country will dare 
resist the combination, and hesitate to declare the slave-trade piracy ? The 
horrible misereants of Cuba and Brazil, the greater monsters of American 
slave-dealers, the clipper-builders of Baltimore who invent maehines to fly 
on the wings of the wind, to earry torture and misery from the coast of 
Afrieato the West Indies and South Ameriea: all these will shrink into 
their native nothingness before the combined majesty of the British and 
Freneh nations uniting in the name of God and of humanity, and operating 
eombinedly for the liberation of the human race. I have to move, 

That an address from this Convention be transmitted to the Freneh 
people, earnestly impressing on them the injustiee and impoliey of any 
longer tolerating the existenee of slavery in their eolonies ; and that the 
following gentlemen form a eommittee, to prepare sueh address : M. 

IsAMBERT, Dr. BoWRING, JoSIAH FoRSTER, G. W. ALEXANDER, and 

D. Turnbull, Esquires. 

Mr. TUENBULL.— I desire to say a single word in reference to the 
diminution of the population in the French negro eolonies. It is well known 
that sinee the question of emancipation began to be agitated with. us, more 
especially during the period of our negro apprenticeship, and since its termi- 
nation, several thousands of slaves have made their escape from Guadaloupe 
and Martinique, to St. Lueia, Dominica, and Antigua. This fact sufficiently 
accounts for the diminution of the slave population in the Freneh West India 
islands, without resorting to the assumption of sueh a degree of severity in 
the management of the plantations, as to produee the waste of human life, 
which a mere comparison of numbers at different periods would seem to 
indicate. The risks which are, however, run to reach a land of freedom, 
serve to reveal the seerets of the prison-house, and tell a tale which, by all 
the means in our power, we must endeavour to press on the attention of the 
people and the legislature of Franee. The prevalence of the slave-trade, to a 



177 

much more recent period in French Guiana, and the Isle of Bourbon, than in 
Martinique and Guadaloupe, aud the disparity of the sexes which uniformly 
attends the practice of forced importation, appear to me to suggest the true 
reason for the rapid decrease of the slave-population in these more distant 
settlements. 

JOHN SGOBLE, Esq.— I deeply regret that circumstances have prevented 
me from appearing before you until this day. At the present moment I labour 
under considerable indisposition, but I desire to be thankful that I have 
sufficiently recovered to be able to meet this most interesting and important 
Convention. The question of French slavery, I also regret was introduced 
before I arrived: for I should have been pleased to compare notes with my 
friend Mi-. Turnbull, on a subject so important and interesting to the cause 
of humanity, and the welfare of thousands of the human family. I know not 
what matters may have been brought under your attention this morning in 
the paper read by Mr. Tuhhbull, I have no doubt that he has presented a 
■correct picture of the state of slavery in the French West India colonies ; but 
I regret that I am compelled to differ a little from that gentleman in the 
remarks lie has just offered to the meeting, in the way of explauation, as to 
the cause of the decrease of the slave-population in those colonies. It is most 
true that for many years past, a considerable number of French slaves from 
Martinique and Guadaloupe have found their way into the British islands, 
but not so large a number during the past year, as would appear from my 
friend's statement. So far as we have been able to .collect the number, it 
appears that about 2000 French slaves have escaped to our colonies, and 
probably 1000 more may have perished in the attempt to secure their liberty. 
But this number covers a long period of time— I may say, probably from ten 
to fifteen years. During the last year to which Mr. Tumbuh particularly 
referred, aud to which your attention was specially called by Mr. O'Conxell, 
in consequence of the vigilance exercised by the police at Guadaloupe and at 
Martinique, very few indeed escaped. You will therefore consider that the 
statement which has been brought under review by Mr. O'Connell contaius 
an absolute fact, aud a most melancholy one, namely, that notwithstanding 
the improved legal condition of the French slaves sinee 1830, through the 
instrumentality, principally, of M. Isambert, notwithstanding the increase in 
the comforts and protection, said to have been afforded them, a diminutiou of 
their numbers is rapidly going on. May I mention another fact in connexion 
with the population of the French colonies 3 It is this, that although the legal 
slave-trade has for many years ceased in these colonies, there can be but little 
doubt, that even up to nearly the preseut time, not a few have been illicitly 
■introduced. We have positive evideuce to prove that a considerable number 
of slaves was introduced in the year 1828, and we may add subsequently to 
that period, so that m point of fact, I venture to assert, that withiu the last ten 
years, a number has been imported equal in amount to the decrease of 
population referred to in those papers. I would also beg to correct a slight 
error of Mr. O'Connell in reference to Martiuique. The slaves of that islaud 
never enjoyed, freedom before they passed from under the dominion of 
France, into the bauds of Great Britain. Guadaloupe was no doubt the island 
to which the hon. gentleman referred. St. Domingo emancipated herself. 
We have proof that emancipation, in both instauces, was beneficial to the 
mother couutry, to the planters, and to the slaves. Much has beeu said with 
reference to the mildness of the Code Now. I take a different view of that 



178 

celebrated code, from the gentlemen who have addressed you. It may be 
mild in some of its features, but in others it is detestable, execrable, ana 
bloody. It gives immense power to the masters, and secures but little pro- 
tection to the slaves. But if all that has been said in its favour were true 
where is the executive principle to be found which should give it force ; and 
where are to be found the men in the French colonies, who would dare to 
carry its provisions into operation ? M. Isambert will beat me witness that 
such men can scarcely be found. From year to year we have the moat dis- 
tressing accounts of the hardships, privations, and punishments of theto 
population. Even during the last year their sufferings have been as feaiful, 
as were those of the slaves of the British colonies, during the worst period oi 
their history. I will not, however, go into particulars on the present occasion, 
having drafted a paper on the subject, which I shall place in the hands of the 
Secretaries for any purpose they may think proper to employ it ihere is one 
point, however, to which I should lite to call the attention of the Convention, 
and especially that of the gentlemen who have favoured us with their pre- 
sence from France. I refer to the scheme of emancipation, which appears to 
have gained much of popular favour in that country. We, as English 
abolitionists, must put upon it the brand of utter condemnation. That 
scheme does not recognise the principle of immediate and entire emanci- 
pation ; and it is upon that ground, and that alone, that I feel bound, m the 
presence of this assembly, to bear my solemn protest against it. 1 am per- 
fectly satisfied, that the negroes in the French West India colonies are as fit 
for emancipation now as were those in the British colonies when the boon 
was granted to them. ' I would confidently appeal to the French _ deputation 
present, whether the slave population of Gnadalonpe, when entire emanci- 
pation was accorded to them, was not in a more degraded condition than that 
of any of the French colonies of the present day. At that period the slaves 
in them were chiefly composed of iudividuals who had been brought recently 
from Africa; yet these newly imported Africans were able, under a state of 
freedom, not only to maintain an excellent character as freemen, but to send 
to the mother country nearly as great an amount of produce, as under the 
system of slavery. It is idle to talk of gradual emancipation. Man , rs fit ;fo 
no other condition than that of freedom. Make him free, raise him to a level 
with his fellow-men and fellow-citizens ; and I will answer for it, that whether 
white or black, he will shew that he is worthy of it. There is another point 
to which I beg permission to allude, in connexion with the emancipation ot 
the neeroes in the French colonies, namely, the subject of compensation. 
When in France I regretted to find that there appeared to be an inclination 
among the most sincere friends of the slaves to give the colonists compen- 
sation for his liberation from bondage. Against this I felt it to be my duty 
earnestly to contend ; especially against the moustrous proposition that the 
slave population should be called upon to pay in whole, or at least m part, the 
price of their own emancipation. Forbid it, humanity! Forbid injustice! 
Forbid it, the honour of the French nation ! Whatever may be done with 
the question of compensation in France, let not the negro pay a single sous 
for his freedom. Wc ask for the French slaves that to which they are 
undoubtedly entitled, complete, entire, immediate emancipation - emanci- 
pation without money and without price. In the address which the com- 
mittee, appointed by this resolution, will be called npou to prepare, our great 
principle, must be borne in mind, that our French brethren may learn, that 



179 

in demanding unconditional freedom for their slaves, we are asking only for 
that which simple justice requires, and which they ought immediately to give. 
I demand it of the French nation, in the name of our common humanity, for 
the sake of the principles of natural justice and equity, which we alike 
acknowledge and profess ; and ahove all, for the sake of those great principles 
which I trust we all more or less recognise and revere— namely, the principles 
of the Christian religion. I feel it to he almost impossihle for me to address 
you at greater length at the present time, hut I have great pleasure in second- 
ing the resolution proposed hy Mr. O'Connell. 

Captain STUART.— Our friend Scoble has said, that St. Domingo emanci- 
pated herself. I wish he would explain how it was done. My reason is 
this, there is a common notion abroad, that it was effected hy bloodshed 
and rebellion. I am desirous that humanity should be vindicated from that 

Mr. SCOBLE.— Emancipation was accorded to Hayti in the first instance 
by the French republic, and the population of that island were placed under the 
control of one of the noblest spirits that ever graced the world, Todssaint 
L'Ouveettjke. When I said that St. Domingo emancipated herself, I meant 
merely that she repelled the efforts of Buonapakte again to reduce her to 
slavery by the army he sent thither, under the command of the celebrated 
General Lecleuc. With respect to the manner in which the Haytians 
secured their liberties,it should be remembered, they were not the aggressors ; 
they repelled force by force, they fought for freedom, and finally conquered 
their foe. Thus they established their liberty ; and their laws and institutions 
generally, I am proud and bold to say, will bear a comparison with those of 
any civilised people under the sun. Let it not, however, be understood when 
I say that the Haytians repelled force by force, and used the weapons of war 
in defence of their liberty, that I for one moment am the advocate or the 
apologist for physical force. I am persuaded that men can achieve their 
liberties without the sword ; I am persuaded that there is no power like moral 
power ; and I am satisfied that pacific principles, whenever brought to bear 
in passive resistance against oppression, will be found all-powerful, and all- 
conquering. 

M. L'INSTANT, (a native of Hayti, but who has resided for some 
time in Paris), then addressed the Convention in French, which was 
afterwards translated by Dr. Bowring, as follows — 

Our friend says that formerly Hayti was not known under that name, 
but by that of St. Domingo. It was in 1789, that the proclamation of the 
rights of man emanated from the Assembly of France. The coloured 
people of Hayti interpreted this proclamation on common principles, and 
claimed the rights of freemen. These were denied them. Our friend avoids 
entering into details and discussions, which are too long and too elaborate 
to bring before the present assembly. In consequence of the position 
taken by the French nation, bloody scenes ensued in St. Domingo. A 
man whose name would ever be respected, Ogee, went to Paris for the 
purpose of endeavouring to obtain for them their rights. He failed in his 
objects there, he was refused what he sought for, and on his return to 
St. Domingo, he was seized by the colonists, and racked on the wheel. This 



160 

act of oppression created a spirit among the people of colour -which nothing 
could extinguish, and, what may be called, " the liberty war," broke out. The 
colonists, exceedingly irritated by what was taking place among the negro 
population, made arrangements to deliver over the island to the English, 
hoping by their assistance to be enabled to continue the system of slavery. 
But the blacks united, and, as it was well known, compelled the English 
to vacate the island. Toussaint L'OuvERTtmE, the first of blacks, was the 
main instrument in effecting their emancipation. The success of the blacks 
was followed by the general prosperity of the island. But Napoleon 
Buonaparte, forgetful alike of his duty and his interest, sent a large 
fleet to re-establish French domination in the island, and to reduce the 
inhabitants again to slavery. Resistance of course followed. It was not 
the original purpose of the blacks to throw off their allegiance to the 
mother country, but this became necessary in consequeuce of the opposition 
with which they met. Dessalines then arose, and conferred on the blacks 
the rights of land-owners and of citizenship, introducing such laws as the 
times appeared to require. He proclaimed liberty and the republic. Petion 
succeeded him. Various struggles ensued, but ultimately Hayti consolidated 
her government ; and in 1825, its independence was recognised by a treaty 
with France. My principal object in addressing the Convention is to shew 
that the detachment of the colony from the mother country, was not the 
original purpose of the Haytian revolution, but grew inevitably out of the 
position in which they were placed, being compelled to take up arms to resist 
the French invader, who sought to deprive them of the liberty they had 
enjoyed. 
M. ISAMBERT then rose, and spoke to the following effect — 
I wish for the honour of my country to say a few words. I am desir- 
ous that this Convention should not confound the acts of the Freuch 
government with the feelings of the French people. In the year 1789, the 
principles of emancipation were really established in Guiana and Guadaloupe. 
Martinique was not then subject to her legislation. Napoleon, however, 
notwithstanding the resistance of the French people, who were always 
opposed to the St. Domingo expedition, seduced by his desire of imitating the 
example, aud even the faults of England, attempted the conquest of St. 
Domingo, and in so doing sacrificed one of the finest armies France had ever 
possessed ; the army which had effected the conquest of Italy. But though 
France failed in her protest against this expedition, yet by way of making 
reparation for the wrongs which her government committed, she has since 
the restoration settled a pension on the widow and children of Toussaiht 
L'OnvEiiTuttE. 

Mr. SCOBLE.— There is one fact of which we should not lose sight in 
l with Hayti. While the French Government has recognised its 
ce, Great Britain to this moment has not done so. I trust that 
this "fact will be borne in mind by this Convention, and that some influence 
will be brought to bear upon the government in reference to this question, 
which now stands as much connected with the national dignity of this 
country, as with the welfare of the Haytian race. 

Mr. TURNBULL— I am sorry to be obliged to differ with Mr. Scoblb, 
but we have a Consul-general there. St. Domingo is an ally of Great Britain 
at this moment. 



181 

Mr. SCOBLE.-I am quite aware that we have a representative of that 
kind m the island, not, however, armed with all the powers which Consuls- 
general have. At the present moment, there is under consideration a 
treaty of commerce with Hayti, and the recognition of its independence 
depends upon its ratification by both powers. I may also mention this fact 
that in an interview which the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti- 
Slavery Society had with Lorn. Palmerston, a short time since, respecting 
Texas, his Lordship admitted that the independence of Hayti had not, up to 
that period, been recognised. There were, he said, difficulties in the way 
which, he trusted, would ultimately be removed. The reason why its inde- 
pendence had not been recognised years ago was, that England had a private 
treaty with France, not to recognise it till France herself should have done so 

Colonel MILLEB.-Thc ouly excuse which the American government 
has for not recognising the independence of Ilayti is, that if we did, we 
should have a black ambassador at "Washington. 

The resolution was then put and carried unanimously ; after which 
the Convention adjourned. 



FOURTH DAY'S SITTINGS, TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 1840. 

(AFTERNOON). 

J. Cr. BIRNEY, Esq., in the Chair. 

Mr . ALEXANDER.-With the indulgence of the Convention, I will 
proceed to state those circumstances with which I am acquainted regard- 
ing Dutch slavery, and the prospect of its abolition. There has been but 
little known in England, as to the extent and circumstances of slavery in the 
colonics of Holland. Up to a very recent period, the principal information 
we possessed was, that one colony in particular, Surinam, contained a consi- 
derable number of slaves. It was believed also, thatthecharacter of Dutch 
slavery was peculiarly severe. Under these circumstances it appeared desir- 
able, m connexion with the objects of the British and Foreign Anti-Slaverv 
Society to ascertain, as far as practicable, the extent and characterof slaverv 
iu the foreign possessions of Holland, and to take such steps generally as 
might promote its termination. For these purposes, within the last three 
months my friend, James Whxtehorne, and myself, proceeded to Holland 
It will be borne in mind, that we had considerable difficulties to enconnTer 
in tlienrstplace,_we were unacquainted with the language of the people, 
amon^ uhoin the inquiries were to be made ; and, secondly, we found on our 
arrival m Holland, that very little was known by the habitants of that 
country respecting slavery m its foreign dependencies. The subject was 
almost entirely new to many with whom we conversed, and appeared to have 
excited very little interest on the part of the people general We fiTt 
visited the cxty of Amsterdam, where, with some difficulty, wc Loeededta 



learning that the prohahle number of slaves in Surinam was about 50,000 ; hut 
from information subsequently received, I am inclined to estimate then 
number at between 60,000 and 70,000. Whatever xt »J ^ J D»tA 
government are correctly informed on the subject, and I trust that some 
Minds to the cause of abolition will be able to procure a prec.se statement 
on this point. We found it still more difficult to procure an account o ^the 
nnmbe/of slaves in the fewsmall West India islands ^^J^"*' 
but from intelligence received since my return home, derived from a highly 
™ub£ source, it appears that the whole number of unhappy bondsmen 
into -various dependencies of Holland, including Surinam, amounts to from 
100,000 to 120,000. It is a very interesting inquiry-what are the circum- 
stances of this large slave population? My remarks rn reply te hrs 
questionmust be confined to the colony of Surinam One o e-; ^J 
facts connected with the state of the slave population m that colony is, ^that 
the decrease in its number is not less than about five per centperjfflnum, 
according to the best information we could obtain. A very small portion of 
thisnumber maypossibly be accounted foi -by ^^^^Z^eZTy 
the evidence of persons competent to judge, this number is mdeed extremely 
small. Neither can it be alleged as a reason for this decrease, that there is a 
<?reat inequality of the sexes arising from a recent abolition of thesla^e- 
Lde. I have a statement of the slave population in Surinam ten years ago, 
from which it appears that the number of males and females, at that period 
who had arrived at marriageable years, was nearly equal,, and the same 
rtai app^Ito those wl/were of a younger age. This frightful decrease 
is mainly to be accounted for in this, as in every instance in which sugar 
cultivation is carried on by slaves, by the amount and duration of the labour 
required, particularly during the crop season, and the other evils incident to 
_ - 1 ™ _ ._j..j „„_;„„„ . ii , ,i h life is sacrificed in tne 



slavery. 



' There are, indeed, various ways in which life 



production of sugar in the West India slave 



Besides that to which 
r Uu "on 1 S; beeTmadl a gxeatToss of life is occasioned by females 
being compelled to work in the field, at a period when their peculiar circum- 
stances require every indulgence and care. Another cause of the decrease of 
^population is the large number of children who die at a very early permd 
doubtless from the want of that attention which a mother only can iulry 
supply. I am unable to give any particular information as to the amount 
of bodily suffering inflicted on the negroes. I regret that we cannot state 
the number of punishments which the slaves in the colonies of Holland 
are called to'endnre. It would do much towards promoting the abolition ot 
slavery universally, if we could have, as was formerly the case in the Enghsh 
colonies, an account at all approximating to the reality, of the number of 
iuflicted under this system. It is however known that the 



whin is used as'an tostranTent of coercion, in the case both of male and 
female slaves. I am also informed, that in the colony of Surinam, a slave 
is not allowed to wear shoes : this is one of the circumstances by which 
the slave is degraded in that colony. It appears, however, that some recent 
steps have been taken with the view of ameliorating his condition, and one 
of these is that he is not hereafter to be separated from the person whom he 
reeards as his wife. How far this may be carried into effect I cannot say, but 
it is not necessary for me to state, in this assembly, that I have no confidence 
whatever, that any measures which may be adopted, will materially ameliorate 



183 

the condition of the slave, so long as the master possesses that power over him 
which is inseparable from the position in which he now stands. If from the 
physical condition of the slave in this colony, we turn to consider his situation, 
whether regarded in an intellectual, moral, or religious point of view, we 
have still an afflictive picture before us. Little or nothing has been done for 
him as regards education. As respects morality, it may be mentioned that 
among the whole slave population in 1830, there were only two marriages, 
and hitherto the slaves have acquired no rights by marriage. In connexion 
with the subject of religious instruction, it may be stated, that there has 
been in this colony, as in some others, a Moravian mission established for 
many years ; but during the first forty years of its existence, they do not 
appear to have had among their converts a single slave. At the end of 100 
years there were only fourteen plantations, out of between 400 and 500, to 
which they were permitted access. Lately through the assistance of a 
Society established at the Hague, the missionaries are allowed to visit 100 of 
these plantations, but this is done only ouce a month, and it frequently 
happens that at these times they are informed, that it is not convenient for 
them to seo the slaves, or that they can sec only a small part of their number ; 
and thus the opportunity of affording instruction is entirely, or to a consider- 
able extent, lost. It may, therefore, safely be stated, that very little indeed 
has been done for the whole of this population. I am sorry to say, that there . 
is one part of the proceedings of the Society to which I have referred for 
promoting the spread of the gospel among the slaves at Surinam, which 
appears liable to very serious objection, it is that they have amongst their 
servants eighteen slaves ; and I should fear from the class of persons of whom 
the Society is in part composed, several of whom, if I am not mistaken, are 
counected with the colony, there is great danger that the preaching of the 
gospel will not be fully and fairly carried out. I am the more jealous in this 
respect, from understanding that to one denomination of Christians alone is 
confided the charge of instructing the negroes in Surinam ; and that no other 
minister of religion is allowed to take a part in the work. It may be proper 
briefly to state what appears to be the prevalent feeling in Holland, in 
reference to the abolition of slavery. So far as I was able to form au 
opinion, the general sentiment in Amsterdam is very far from satisfactory. 
We met with very few instances of cordial support and assistance in the 
object of our visit in that large city, containing 200,000 persons ; and I am 
deeply grieved to say, that on the part of ministers of religion among others, 
there has bceu an unwillinguess to co-operate in this work. I do not say that 
this feeling was uuiversal. We are to bear in mind, that the subject was new, 
or nearly so, to most of those with whom the deputation conversed ; and 
I trust that some, who a few months since had not given to the anti-slavery 
question the serious consideration which it deserves, will after having done 
so, feel it their duty to give us their cordial, decided, and valuable assistance. 
I do not despair of such being the case. At Amsterdam there was one friend 
in particular who did manifest a lively interest in the question, and lent us all 
the assistance in his power. I may be allowed to mention the name of this 
individual, J. S. Mollet, the only member of the Society of Friends, resi- 
deut in Holland. From Amsterdam I proceeded to Utrecht, where, during 
au extremely limited stay, I saw only Professor Ackersdyke, who manifested 
a lively interest in the abolition of slavery. Our friends, Samuel Gurney, 
Elizabeth Fry, and William Allen, afterwards visited Amsterdam and 



184 

Utrecht, and at both these towns had very satisfactory meetings. At Amster- 
dam the meeting was attended by about fifty persons ; at- Utrecht by about 
eighty. The fact, however, as regards an unwillingness to labour on behalf 
of the slave at Amsterdam, remains as has been stated. From Utrecht I 
proceeded to Leyden, where J. S. Mollet was my companion ; and there 
among the few persons we saw, I am glad to say that there was scarcely any 
difference of opinion as to the duty of abolishing slavery. We next visited 
the Hague, and through the kind assistance of Groen Van Printseren, 
had the opportunity of meeting a pretty considerable number of persons, 
including several of distinction. I trust that among our friends at the Hague 
some will afford important aid in the future prosecution of the anti-slavery 
undertaking ; and I hope that G. Van Printsehen will be one of this number. 
We afterwards proceeded to Rotterdam, where we found some zealous and 
decided friends of the negro, including the English Episcopal minister, Dr. 
Bosworth, (whose name is well known in this country as an Anglo Saxon 
scholar), Ebenezer Miller, the English Independent Minister, and the 
two ministers of the Scotch church in that town. All of these manifested 
a most cordial disposition to promote the abolition cause. Before leaving 
Rotterdam, a meeting was held for the purpose of communicating information 
on the subject of our mission. An endeavour was made to show not only the 
extent and some of the appalling circumstances connected with the actual 
state of the slave-trade and slavery, that thus those who were present might 
be aware of the greatness of the evil to which their attention was called, 
but also to point out the very beneficial results of emancipation in the English 
colonies. At the close of the meeting, the junior Scotch minister expressed 
his regret, that he had not, during tbe course of the proceedings, proposed 
the formation of a Society for promoting the abolition of slavery in the Dutch 
colonies. I remarked in reply, that the present moment appeared as suitable 
as during the meeting for taking such a step, and that if the friends of the 
cause were disposed to form a committee prior to my leaving Holland, it 
would afford me great satisfaction. A committee was accordingly formed. 
Since returning home, I have heard, not unfrccniently,- from persons in Hol- 
land, on the question of slavery, and tbe general impression on my mind is, 
that the subject of slavery has recently excited considerable attention in that 
country, and that there is a disposition to regard it with a view to the termi- 
nation of the system. At the same time there are many doubts m the minds 
of some well disposed individuals, as to the propriety of immediate emancipa- 
tion. I am extremely desirous that we should do all that we can to convince 
the friends of humanity in Holland, of the duty which devolves upon them 
in reference to the subject which has been brought under their notice. Not- 
withstanding what has been now said, there are few countries to which I 
am disposed to look with more hopeful feelings, as respects the progress of 
the anti-slavery cause than to Holland. There is a large amount of intel- 
ligence in that land, and not a small number of individuals^ actuated by 
Christian sentiments. Among these, there will, I trust, be ^ raised up men, 
like-minded with those who have laboured in the work of abolition in Englaud, 
who will see it to be their duty to consecrate a large portion of their time to 
the deeply interesting work of promoting the emancipation of the slaves in 
the colonies of their native land. 

Mr. FULLER.— What sort of meetings were those at which William 
Allen and the Friends attended ? Were tbey connected with this subject I 



185 

Mr. ALEXANDER.— I understand them to have been Anti-slavery 
meetings. If it will be any satisfaction to the Convention I will read a few 
lines referring to them, written by J. 8. Mollet, of Amsterdam. In a 
letter to me, he says, " In the course of this excursion, though our friends 
have made prisons and the houses for the insane a chief object of their 
inquiries and examination, the subject of slavery has likewise had a share in 
their labours of love. This has been particularly the case at this place 
(Amsterdam) and at Utrecht. One of the meetings they had in this town, 
and which was attended by upwards of fifty persons of both sexes, was wholly 
devoted to explaining the views of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery 
Society ; and at Utrecht, in a similar assembly, where more than eighty persons 
were present, nearly two hours were employed in the same way. Professor 
Ackersdyke was one of the hearers, and both "William Allen and 
Samuel Gurnet stated the principal events connected with the history of 
this cause in England, after which I likewise gave some details on the subject 
of slavery in the Dutch colonies, shewing the necessity of putting an end to 
the prevailing system, even for the real interest of the owners of the planta- 
tions. Besides this, we had a great deal of conversation on the anti-slavery 
question with several individuals of note at Rotterdam, the Hague, Utrecht, 
Zeist, and even at Zwoll ; and have every where endeavoured to shew the 
necessity of procuring as much information as possible on the abuses arising 
from a state of slavery in our own colonies as well as in yours, and of spreading 
this information at large, through the means of our various periodical publi- 
cations, which will certainly be done in a short time." I think it must be 
distinctly understood from this letter, that one or more meetings held by our 
friends have Been decidedly and exclusively anti-slavery meetings, and they 
appear to have been of a very satisfactory character. 

Mr. WILSON.— As I understand it, meetings to explain the principles on 
which anti-slavery operations are based. There is no qualification about it 
whatever. 

Mr. ALEXANDER.— The last remark which has been made leads me to 
observe, that the Committee at Rotterdam is the. only one formed in Holland ; 
but I have received a letter from the northern part of that country, signed by 
several influential individuals, in which they state, that in consequence of a 
communication made to them, they have considered the subject of emancipa- 
tion, and the conclusion to which they have arrived is, that although it is 
exceedingly desirable that slavery should be immediately abolished— an event 
to which they look forward with anxiety — they entertain the opinion, that at 
present the slaves in the Dutch colonies are not prepared for freedom. I 
believe we must allow a little time to elapse, before our friends in Holland 
will be sufficiently enlightened to induce them to adopt generally vigorous 
measures. I proceed to observe, that the Committee of the British and Foreign 
Anti-Slavery Society was anxious to extend its inquiries into the slavery 
of St. Bartholomew, an island which is connected with Sweden ; and a few 
weeks after returning from Holland, while the Diet, which meets only once 
in five years, was sitting, I set off for Stockholm. Very little has been 
known with respect to the slaves supposed to be held under the government 
of Sweden. I imagined (taking this opinion from books) that their number 
was 8000 or 9000, but it appears on better information, that this was a very con- 
siderable mistake. Iu Stockholm I fouud that it was very generally believed 
that they amouuted to between 2000 aud 3000; but some persons thought that 



wmmmm 



there were no slaves in St. Bartholomew. However, before leaving the capital 
of Sweden, I had reason to conclude that there were between 800 and 900 
slaves in the island. In Sweden, as in Holland, the subject of slavery had 
excited but little attention, but it has riot been my lot to travel in any country, 
in which there has been manifested a more lively disposition to co-operate in 
plans for promoting its entire abolition. It appeared to me, that in Sweden 
there was a great deal of what I may be allowed to call English feeling, in 
reference to slavery. At Stockholm, where I remained one fortnight, I was 
present at the formation of an Anti-slavery Society, and received distinct 
assurances that the abolition of slavery in St. Bartholomew should be 
brought before the Diet now in session. Professor Tomander, an eloquent 
member of the legislature, has stated that he would introduce a motion on 
the subject in the Diet, if this was not done by some other member of that 
body ; and Professor G-eieh, an eminent historian and poet, is no less pledged 
to support the object in the same assembly. I had communications with 
several persons of distinction, among whom were the Crown Prince and 
the Archbishop of Sweden, both of whom were decidedly favourable 
to the abolition of slavery. There is one peculiarity in the circumstances of 
the small island of St. Bartholomew. Although it is generally supposed to 
appertain to Swedeu, yet it does, in point of fact, belong to the King- of that 
country, and the Diet has no direct power over it. There can, however, be no 
doubt, that if the Diet were decidedly and generally to express its wish that 
the system should be altered, such a cirenmstance would be likely to influence 
the King-; and especially, if the Diet were further to declare that it would 
gladly co-operate with the Sovereign, in any measure necessary to carry into 
effect the measure of abolition. I have very little information to give as to 
the condition of the slaves, but that they are exceedingly neglected, perhaps 
more so, than in many other places in which slavery prevails ; and there 
appears reason for believing that St. Bartholomew is a refuge for slave-traders 
and pirates. The remarks now made comprise the substance of the informa- 
tion which I received during my stay in Sweden. I am not without hope 
that the small efforts which I have made will be productive of some good 
to that deeply interesting cause, for the promotion of which we are met. 
It appears to me to be our duty to endeavour to interest every govern- 
ment which is connected with slavery, in the abolition of that wicked 
system; knowing, as we do, how much the moral influence arising from 
emancipation by one country will promote the universal overthrow of 
slavery. Allow me to say, before I sit down, that among the remarks which 
have been made in the course of this Conference, there have been some 
with which I do not entirely agree. I refer to those which have dwelt 
on the great difficulties with which the cause of abolition has to contend, and 
which suppose it a very possible circumstance, that owing to these difficul- 
ties a long period may elapse before the object we seek is extensively effected. 
I entertain entirely different sentiments. I believe that the period is very 
fast hastening when slavery shall cease to exist throughout the world. The 
exertions of abolitionists will be crowned with success, assisted as they are by 
the glorious abolition of slavery in the English colonies. At Amsterdam, in 
a conversation with a slave-holder, he remarked, that the feeling of Europe 
was decidedly against slavery ; that formerly he had been afraid of the blacks, 
but that now he was afraid of the whites ; and I believe that he has ground 
for the appreheusion which he entertains. Where wc are cugaged in a good 



187 

a the probability of success by comparing the 
extent of the machinery employed, with the greatness of the object we are 
seeking to accomplish. With the Divine blessing comparatively insignificant 
means are sufficient to accomplish the most important results. Believing as I 
do, that this blessing will continue to rest upon our endeavours, I trust that 
we shall all labour with the strong conviction that the day is fast approaching, 
when the nations of the earth shall universally have abolished slavery, and 
that with its downfall an immense increase shall take place in the amount 
of human happiness— the tide of civilization shall receive a mighty im- 
petus where it now rolls sluggishly, or scarcely moves at all — pure morality, 
which most, if not all of us, dearly love, and which I consider to be the 
root and foundation of our proceedings, shall receive new brightness, and 
shall no longer be tarnished by that inhuman, that cruel, and unrighteous 
system of slavery which for centimes has disgraced the nations of the 
earth. 

JAMES WHITEHOBNE, Esq, (of Bristol).— I should not appear before you 
after the clear statement made by Mr. Alexander, were it not for a desire to 
refer to one or two circumstances which have apparently escaped his recollec- 
tion. In regard to marriage among slaves in the Dutch colony of Surinam, in 
the evidence we obtained, it was distinctly stated, that the relation did not 
exist among the slaves on the plantations, that in fact it is not recognised by 
the laws of the state, and therefore has no legal existence. In regard to in- 
struction by the Moravian missionaries : they have been there for a century. 
During the first ninety years they had obtained liberty of access to fourteen 
estates only, and that at distant intervals, and of a very unsatisfactory cha- 
. racter. In the last ten years, by the aid of a Society in Holland, they have 
been allowed to visit about forty estates. They were not permitted to teach 
the negroes on the estates to read ; so that the slaves could not refer for 
themselves to the word of God. Oral instruction alone was given, and many 
of the managers were so opposed to that, as often to send the missionaries 
away, and frequently to shorten the time during which they were permitted 
to speak. "When visiting one estate, they were not permitted to have the 
negroes from adjoining plantations. The missionaries could not affirm that 
during these hundred years, there had been a single slave on the estates con- 
verted to God. The influence that we may exercise in promoting the abolition 
of slavery in that colony, may be of a feeble character ; but there is one fact 
to which Mr. Alexander has not alluded, which I think is of some im- 
portance in this respect. There are between forty aud fifty estates in 
Surinam, possessed by British proprietors resident in Great Britain. That 
fact is not generally known, nor may its importance be immediately seen. It 
shews, however, that we have a body of people upon whom we can act 
directly, and it will be for this Convention, or the British and Foreign Anti- 
Slavery Society, to adopt measures regarding them. Can they continue to be 
slave-holders, where the nation has pronounced its ban against the system of 
slavery ? "We have not the same power over the proprietors of Holland, as 
over our own fellow-citizens ; but some influence may be exercised. I should 
therefore propose that a committee be formed, to suggest the best methods of 
acting upon the proprietors both in England and in Holland. It has been 
proposed that we should address the French nation on the subject of slavery ; 
I think there ought to be a similar address from this Convention in its aggre- 
gate capacity, to the people of Holland. 



Rev. T. SCALES. — It is importaut that the Convention should know that 
the gentleman who has just sat down, was formerly a resident in Jamaica 
and a slave-holder. I believe it is a fact, that instead of putting into his own 
pocket the compensation money for those who had been in .bondage, he gave 
it to those who had been his slaves. 

Mr. ALEXANDER. — Allow me to explain a little apparent discrepancy 
between my friend's statement and my own. I received information after I 
left Holland, which appeared to afford ground for what I stated with regard 
to education, and also with respect to the existence of marriages in some 
instances. 

HENRY HOLLAND, Esq., (delegate from Spilsby).— I beg to ask whether 
the slaves in the Dutch colonies can by any means obtain manumission, and 
whether there are any free persons of colour in those islands. 

Mr. ALEXANDER. — There are free persons of colour undoubtedly. 
Whether the slaves can obtain manumission I cannot say. 

Captain MOORSOM, R.N., (of Birmingham).— The resolution which has 
been put into my hands, grows naturally out of the address which has been 
made to the meeting by Mr. Alexander, but it appears to me to connect itself 
also with a part of the business of the Convention, as stated in the printed 
paper before us. I am not aware whether it has been decided by the meeting, 
to take up these things in detail, as the subjects to which they apply occur, or 
to take them in the connexion in which they are put down ; but presuming that 
the resolution I hold is all right, I have only to move it. I would, however, just 
draw your attention to that with which it connects itself in the proposed scheme 
of the business of the Convention, namely, the fifth branch of the fourth 
series, " International" — " free governments endeavouring to influence others 
that tolerate either slavery or the slave-trade." Supposing that that subject 
will be before the Convention, aud that an opportunity will be afforded of 
connecting the subject of this resolution with it, I shall say nothing more 
than simply move — 

That a Committee be appointed to prepare a report on the present 
state of slavery in the Dutch colonies, together with an address to the 
people of Holland, upon the duty and advantages of seeking its 
immediate abolition, and that the Rev. John Keep, and G. W. 
Alexander, and James "Whitehobne, Esquires, be the said Committee. 

SETH SPRAG-UE, Esq, (of the Massachusetts Legislature, U. S.)— It is 
with no small diffidence that I attempt to address an assembly like this, 
especially after the talented gentlemen whohave spoken from the United 
States. I feci a deep interest in every thing' that concerns the abolition of 
slavery, as it is entwined around the institutions of the states composing that 
country to which I belong, to which I owe allegiance, to which I am 
bound, and which I love as my right hand. I cannot feel indifferent to any- 
thiug which coucernsher happiness and her welfare. The abolition of slavery 
in foreign countries must have a strong bearing upon every part of the United 
States. I need not speak of the power and influence of Great Britain in every 
part of the world. In the United States we look to all the nations around us 
as an example, and whatever they do upou this subject has its effect upon us. 
It should, however, be known to the Conveution, that wc arc not situated like 



Great Britain or Prance, or even Holland itself. Those countries can buy 
their slaves, and set them free, hut we cannot do it. The national govern- 
ment has no control hy legislation, in freeing the slaves in the several 
states. Hence we are very diiferently situated from you, or any other nation 
in the world. How long would it have heen ere you had abolished slavery 
in the West Iudia Colonies, had your only resource been the colonial legis- 
latures ? How long must you have appealed to them, and what an influence 
must you have thrown around them, to have induced them to come forward 
and liberate the slaves without compensation or reward ? This is onr situation 
in the United States. "We have no power over the states which hold slaves. 
Congress can pass- no law for the manumission of slaves, except it be in the 
district of Columbia, a place only ten miles square. But slavery is entwining 
itself around our institutions and our country, aud I tremble for the con- 
sequences either now, or at some future day. The diiEculties that surround 
us are so great, that we look to the whole world to throw their iufluence 
around us, and to make slavery appear so odious aud hateful to all rational 
and sensible men, that the owners of slaves shall be induced to give them up. 
You may be assured, that anything which comes from this side of the water 
is felt by the southern planters, that it places them in a very peculiar aud 
very delicate situation. Hence it is they threaten us, that if we perse- 
vere in our measures for the abolition of slavery, they will separate from 
the free states. The northern states are extremely sensitive on the subject 
of the national union, they fear this threatened separatiou ; and hence the 
abolitionists have to encounter opposition with which they would not other- 
wise have to conteud. The state legislatures where slavery exists, tell the 
free states that they have no right to interfere with them : that it is their 
owu busiuess, which by the American compact and constitution, belongs 
exclusively to themselves, aud consequently they will not permit us to discuss 
the topic within their limits. Great Britain must send out a moral iufluence 
abroad amongst us, by its periodicals and its literature. Your agents never 
can travel in our country ; they could not use the laugnage there which they 
utter here. What would you think of an American coming to England, with 
the view of reforming your institutions ? This thought will enable you to 
appreciate the prejudices and feelings of American citizeus on the subject. I 
merely rose, however, to second the resolution, not being prepared to enter 

The resolution was then put, and carried unanimously. 

MOHAMMEDAN SLAVERY. 

Dr. BOWRING— I have been called upon to address the Convention on a 
subject of the greatest iuterest, and the greatest importance. I regret that 
it has not been in my power to prepare a formal report, and that all which I 
shall be able to do, will be to address to the Convention those desultory and 
unarranged observations which immediately occur to me. My first feeling 
was a desire to appeal to your candid forbearance, and to entreat that you 
would deal indulgently with me, while I led you to lands to which, perhaps, 
less than to any other in modern times, has the attention of the friends of 
the abolition of slavery been directed. But on second thoughts it occurred 
to me, that to those who are acquainted with the pages of their Bible I am to 
preseut little that is new, little with which they are not familiar. That 
which existed forty centuries ago, exists now. Those beautiful and faithful 



190 

stories which you will find in Holy Writ, are still palpable to your touch, 
and visible to your eyes. If yon will go into Syria, Arabia, and Egypt, in 
the desert yon will find to this hour many a patriarch with his camels and his 
asses, his man servants aud his maid servants, his bondsmen and his bonds- 
women Amono-st those who occupy the highest official stations in the East 
there is many a man who has reached it through the door of slavery. Many a 
Joseph exists now, the vicissitudes of whose history you may study, and know 
how truthful is the Hebrew tale. It is true, that even the ruins of Babylon 
have been swept away ; that of Tadmor in the desert, only broken and ruined 
pillars remain ; that in Tyre and Sidou, the only activity which exists is 
that of the lizard, and the newt, and the scorpions, which are scrambling 
over their depopulated walls. But there is Jerusalem, and Damascus, and 
Antioch, and Nazareth, and Alexandria, and Smyrna, and Sychar, still 
great and still distinguished as in the days of old. The Mohammedan law 
has recognised the law of Judaism, and I say, and I am bound to say it in re- 
proach of Christian character and Christian conduct, that the Mohammedan 
oppression weighs not so heavily upon the slave as that of professing Chris- 
tians The law of the Koran has recommended the slave to the humanity o± 
the Mussulman, aud I hope that I shall be allowed to refer to the phraseology 
of that remarkable man whom they call their prophet, inasmuch as you will 
see that all which is kind and generous, and benevolent in it, he has taken from 
a higher source. What does he say 1 " Show kindness to parents and rela- 
tions, and orphans, to the poor, and your neighbour who is akin to you, 
to the stranger, to your familiar companions, to the traveller, and to the cap- 
tive whom your right hand shall possess, for Allah loveth not the proud and 
the vain glorious." I hope I shall not be misunderstood as attempting to 
establish any contrasts between Mohammedanism and Christiauity. It is 
because I would elevate Christianity and refer to what its founder intended 
that it should be, that I bring forward these quotations from the Koran. In 
another passage, he opens the door to the manumission of Mohammedan slaves, 
and he says, "Unto such of your slaves as desire a written proof that they 
mav redeem themselves, give it— if you have found them faithful ; and give 
them of your wealth which God has given you." Again, " Marry those maid 
servants whom you possess, who are true believers. Ye are of common 
origin." ( That certainly is not a happy translation of the nobler sentiment 
of Christianity, ye are the children of a common Father). " Marry them with 
the consent of their masters, and give them their dower according to justice, 
and if they sin," (there is benevolence and kindness in this, taken out of the 
Mosaic law,) "if they siu," (inasmuch as they have not had the advantage of 
the instruction which you have possessed), " let them only be punished with 
half the punishment inflicted on the free." In this there is a generous huma- 
nity, because the slave was not supposed to have had the same means of 
information, the same knowledge of the law. What is right and what is 
elevated in Mohammedanism, I am the first to confess has been taken from 
Judaism and from Christianity ; but I am also compelled to acknowledge, 
that the Mohammedans have given more prominency to their sacred writings, 
and have been more influenced by their directions, than we whose Bible 
is derived from a higher authority, and whose sanctions are of a nobler 
character. Allow me to refer to a beautiful tradition among the Moham- 
medans, which has a great effect upon their temper and conduct. There 
is a verse in the Koran which says, "Paradise is prepared for those 



191 

who bridle their anger and forgive men : Allah loveth the beneficent." 
Now the story which every Mohammedan child has heard from his youth is 
this. Hassanben Ali had a slave who threw over him at table, a dish which 
was boiling hot. Fearing his master's resentment, he threw himself on his 
knees before him, and said, " Paradise is for those who bridle their anger." 
His master kindly replied, " I am not angry." The slave added, " And who 
forgive." " I forgive thee." "But Allah loveth the beneficent," continued 
the slave. " I give you your liberty and 400 pieces of silver." I put it to 
you, my Christian friends, whether there is not instruction— touching, 
eloquent, even Christian instruction in this Mussulman tradition ? One cir- 
cumstance very interesting, and particularly as associated with the state of 
things in the East is this — that among them they have no distinction of 
colour, no nobility of skiu. White men of the highest ranks marry black 
women ; and black men frequently occupy the highest social and official 
stations. At this moment the Scherif of Mecca — the holy city — a man of 
the highest authority in the East, is as black as a raven. I have over and 
over again, on the Nile, seen the Nubian commanding the white men of 
northern Egypt ; and I have again and again in the East seen black men 
domineering it — I hope the expression will be pardoned— over their white 
dependents. I recollect, on one occasion, a black man in an Egyptian regi- 
ment had his leg amputated by a distinguished friend of mine in the East, 
Clot Bey, and when the Bey expressed his surprise that his patient uttered 
no exclamation of distress, that he cried not for mercy or for pity, and said 
to him, "Why, you are indeed a brave man, I had no idea that so much pain 
could have been borne with so much patience." His reply was, " Do you 
think that a Nubian (a black man) is no better than a Fellah (a white one)." 
The slavery of the East is not the slavery of the field, but of the household. 
In the dispensations of Providence, in those countries in which slavery forms 
a part and portion of the social organization, the Divine Being has tempered 
the wind to the shorn lamb. The slaves are regarded with a certain tender- 
ness and affection in those countries where mortality frequently sweeps the 
people away by devastations of the most cruel character. The plague often 
removes men in multitudes. I knew a case myself, of a Mohammedan 
governor, who of 70 children had lost 69 ; and the consequence is, that the 
affections of the Mohammedans frequently associate themselves with the 
children whom they have bought, and who become a part of their family. 
Throughout the East the slave is not regarded as degraded, inasmuch as 
slavery is no impediment to his reaching the highest social elevation. I 
believe that at this moment three-fourths of the Divan of Constantinople are 
composed of men stolen in their youth, who are wholly unacquainted with 
their early history, and from whom you can learn nothing of the names of 
their forefathers ; of the scenes of their childhood, or even of the place of 
their birth. Such is the state of the slaves in the East ; but while I am con- 
trasting their situation with that of those who are dependent on Christian 
masters, do not suppose for a moment, that even there, the influences of slavery 
are not most deplorable. Even there, slavery is the great impediment to 
civilization, to the march of instruction, to the introduction and the progress 
of civil liberty. It may he shewn without difficulty that the present 
condition of the Caliphate, whose race I believe to be nearly run, and whose 
downward destinies are about to be accomplished, is to be traced to that 
pollution, that degradation, that misery, that ruin which the principle aud 



192 

practice of slavery have everywhere introduced. I have spoken of the weak- 
ness of the Caliphate, because out of that weakness I think an opportunity is 
afforded to you of doing great good in the Levant. The Mohammedan 
influence represented by the sword and the book — the only two influences 
which they recognise — is passing away. The Christian powers are sovereigns 
at Constantinople and in the Ottoman empire, and not the Sultan. I trust 
that some appeal will be made by you to them, in order to show that their 
influence ought to be exercised for noble, and patriotic, and Christian 
purposes; and, I believe, that such influence at this moment would not be 
exercised in vain. When my friend, Mr. Bcxton, visited Borne the other 
day, and endeavoured to obtain from his Holiness the Pope such influence 
for the abolition of slavery, as he still exercises in the Christian world, 
he was engaged in a holy and a useful work. That which is true in 
the "West as it respects the Pope, is true in the East as respects the Sultan, 
and the power of the Caliphate. Their political power has as much passed 
away, as the alchemy of Paracelsus, or the astronomy of Ptolemy. But I am 
persuaded that if the influence of the Christian powers be immediately and 
properly used at Constantinople, something may be obtained from that 
tottering government, which will be eminently conducive to the abolition of 
slavery. You were all interested by the appeal which was made to-day by 
M. Cremieux, and by that touching appeal in which he associated the cause 
of his brethren, with the cause which has brought us together. The bond of 
affinity is far greater than even he represented it. The persecution of the 
Jews at Damascus is a part and portion of the question of slavery, and I shall 
bring it home to your minds by reciting a fact, of which I was an eye witness 
in the Holy Land. I was a visitor to the governor of Nablous, the capital of 
Samaria, the Shechem of the Old Testament, and the Sychar of the New ; 
that spot in which the Samaritans to this hour, for there is still a fragment of 
the Samaritans left, worship the God of their fathers on Mount Gherizim — 
that spot interesting and hallowed, let me say, beyond most other spots in 
that most interesting and hallowed land, in which our Saviour uttered the 
words, " God is a Spirit, and they who worship Him must worship Him in 
spirit and in truth." In the house of the Governor of that city I was living, 
when I saw a handsome youth brought in, aged perhaps seven, eight, or nine 
years. He was purchased by the Governor for the sum of 7,000 piastres, or 
about £10. sterling. The boy knew nothing of his early history ; he had been 
stolen probably by the Turkish officer who was then selling him. His own 
condition had nothing in it that was distressing ; for the recollection of his 
friends and his family had passed away, and received as he was into the 
bosom of a distinguished and opulent house, he had nothing of which to com- 
plain. But you will ask what reference has this to the proceedings at 
Damascus ? Why this — that this demand for slaves perpetually leads to the 
loss of children, to the robbing of families, to the miseries which you can 
better estimate than I can give expression to. Throughout the whole of 
Syria children are constantly lost, their parents are deprived of them by one 
perfidious pirate or another, and they are sold into slavery, and of this crime 
the Jews arc the commonly accused parties. The Jews, as in the dark ages, 
are the victims of every species of calumny. When a child is lost in the East, 
some unhappy Jew is accused of the robbery. Christians and Mussulmaus 
have agreed to represent the Jews as the traders in children, as the stealers of 
their offspring, and as stealing them for the purpose of sacrifice, and it is out 



193 

of this extraordinary impression, this very persecution at Damascus may have 
had its origin — a persecution originating in blood and infatuated superstition. 
But in that state of society in which there are' so many mothers, who have 
had to deplore the loss of their children, in ■which, as you are aware, there are 
so few means of communication, so little civilization, so much ignorance, so 
little kuowledge, so much of prejudice, so little publicity, these unfortunate 
Jews have been fixed upon as the victims of the abominable persecutions 
which have occurred at Damascus, and which only represent, I am sorry to 
say, the state of the public mind in the Holy Land. But then what is to be 
done ? Is this state of things to continue ! Is slavery to be ever tolerated ? 
Are those usages among Mohamiuedan nations, which have come down from 
the remotest time, which probably existed before the days of Abraham— for 
Abraham, and Abraham's ancestors dwelt at Damascus— are they never to be 
removed ? I ask whether by the intervention of Christians at the present 
moment, we might not do something to put an end to these abominations ; 
something to elevate the general tone and character of the Mohammedan 
mind ; something to shew that in the abolition of slavery, all nations, all 
religions have a common interest, and that for its overthrow they are bound 
to unite in a common co-operation ? It appears to me that much may be done 
if recourse be had to proper means. I had occasion, when, hououred by a mis- 
sion from Her Majesty's Government to the East, to bring the whole question of 
slavery to the notice of the present rulers of the country. I need not describe 
to you the horrors which accompany the capture of the slave. I need not tell 
yon, for it would harrow up your souls, how much of misery, how much of 
blood is scattered over every track upon which the slave passes on his way to 
his final purchaser. I have seen slavery at its birth-place, and I believe that 
it may be checked there ; that if you direct your energies aright, you may 
attack it in its cradle, and that your Hercules is strong enough to strangle 
the serpent of slavery. I look upon eastern Africa with peculiar interest, 
because the means of action there, are far greater than on the western coast; 
and while I earnestly desire that every effort should be made on the Gambia, 
and in the West, I cannot but think that the East presents greater facilities, 
and greater promise of important results. One portion of eastern Africa, as 
you are aware, is Christian, and a large portion of it is Mohammedan ; 
Christian and Mohammedan, such as they are, polluted as they are, (for I am 
bound to say that the Christianity of barbarous nations partakes of their 
barbarism, and that if you would see it in its purity, in its beauty, in its 
higher excellency, you must associate it with all the developments of mind, 
and of intellect,) there are some elements to work upon. I had occasion to 
represent to the Viceroy of Egypt, accompanied by the Consul-general of 
that country, Colonel Campbell, to whose emcieut services I am bound to 
pay my grateful tribute, that it would do his Highness much honour, that it 
would elevate his name among European nations, if he would endeavour to 
check the slave-hunts, and the atrocities committed by the troops which own 
him as their sovereign. I hold in my hand a report which Lord Palmeeston 
has kindly allowed to be communicated to Mr. Buxton, with reference to his 
own most meritorious exertions, and which therefore I may be permitted to 
read here. I will take the liberty of calling your attention to a fragment of 
the Report, which in a few days will be laid before Parliament, and which 
represents what took place at the interview between Mohammed Ali, Colonel 
Campbell and myself, on the 16th January, 1838. It is as follows — 



194 
When we had obtained sufficient evidence to authorise an inter- 
ference with the Pacha, on the subject of the slave-hunts carried on by 
his Highness' troops in Sennaar, and other frontiers of his dominions, the 
Consul-General and myself, determined to make a strong representa- 
tion to him on the subject. And here I have the greatest satisfaction 
in reporting, that on this, as on every other occasion, I found from 
Colonel Campbell the most eager and energetic co-operation, the 
utmost willingness, and most earnest desire to use all his influence for 
any object of liumaue and generous policy. It was certainly a task of 
some difficulty to address a Mohammedan Pacha, on a subject where 
everything we had to say would be new and unexpected ; and where, 
in whatever terms our remonstrances might be couched, they would 
necessarily imply censure, and might provoke resistance. We could not, 
however, seek or obtain a remedy, unless we laid open the abuse. We 
had, indeed, the satisfaction of knowing, that in the discharge of a 
heavy and responsible duty, we had no motives but those of humanity ; 
and we hoped, should the Pacha uot be disposed to adopt our sugges- 
tions, that we might at least convince him, our interference had in it 
nothing of an unfriendly character. Indeed, the Consul-General and 
myself thought, that if the represeutations took the shape rather of 
amicable counsel, than of formal diplomatic intervention, we were more 
likely to succeed; inasmuch as a Mohammedan Governor, who finds 
slavery interwoven with every part of the social organization around 
him, would undoubtedly resist, and be encouraged by every prejudice 
and passion of his subjects, to resist a formal interference with usages 
of immemorial date, and sanetioned by the special authority of his 
prophet. 

It was during the Ramadan festival that we made our way to the 
palace of the Pacha at Shoubra. This was our second attempt to see 
him on the subject, for we had gone the previous day to the palace of 
his daughter, the widow of the Defterdar Bey, on the other side of 
Cairo, and had learned that the Pacha had departed. We found his 
Highness smoking one of the splendidly decorated pipes, dazzling with 
multitudinous diamonds, which are used on great festivities ; and the 
snuff-box lustrous with brilliants, lay by his side on the Divan. 

lie is most keen in perceiving whether the communications about 
to be made, are of a pleasing or disagreeable character ; and he soon 
gave us reason to suppose, he knew that wc were about to address hiin 



195 

on some not attraetive subject. Of this he had no doubt been in- 
formed by his intelligent Ameriean interpreter, Abtin Bey, to whom 
we had indeed stated our intention of bringing the slavery question to 
the notice of his master. Colonel Campbell began by saying, that 
he felt pain in being compelled to speak to his Highness, on a matter 
where his own officers and troops were so deeply coneerned ; but that if 
he knew how seriously his own reputation was involved, how deeply 
the universal mind of England was moved on the question of Negro 
Slavery, he would exeuse and approve of the step we were now taking, 
and eonsider that, we were rendering him a great serviee, by suggesting 
that before any official representations were made, he should take 
the initiative, by immediately putting a stop to the slave -hunts in the 
south. 

Fire flashed from the old man s eyes as we spoke ; he grasped the sword, 
as he frequently does when excited, which lay upon his knees, and all 
his gestures showed a strong excitement, but his features gradually 
relapsed into a more eomplaeent expression, and he said, he doubted 
much, whether his troops had ever been paid in slaves ; that he had never 
heard the fact mentioned; that he knew, indeed, his officers traded in 
slaves, of whieh he much disapproved; that he disliked the slave-trade 
himself, and should be very happy to abolish it altogether, by slow 
degrees, whieh was the only way it eould be accomplished. We told 
him that we would not have presumed to bring the matter before him, 
had we not evidenee the most irresistible, showing that the slave-hunts 
were carried on by his troops ; that wages were paid in slaves, and that 
horrible sufferings and frightful waste of life were the consequenees of 
the system. He asked how eau my soldiers' wages be paid in slaves, 
when there is not a soldier to whom a sum exeeeding seventy-five 
piastres, fifteen shillings, was due; and the very lowest price of a 
slave was 1 50 piastres. 

We told him that the slaves were distributed in pareels aceording 
to the amounts due to the troops ; that in this way fifty slaves of the 
value of 150 piastres would be given to pay the arrears of 75 piastres 
due to 100 soldiers. He still doubted our statements, and offered to 
send an offieer to accompany any person we would nominate, into the 
distriets in order to report ; and if matters were found as we stated, he 
would give orders to put an end to the abuse. We replied that we 
had the faets not only from foreigners, but from English travellers of 



undoubted veraeity, and that he might be assured we were not mis- 
leading him by any false representation or heightened colouring; that 
the language he had used with respect to slavery did him the highest 
honour ; and that his carrying out a purpose so humane and noble, 
would throw the greatest lustre on his administration and reputation. 
He said he would forward a despateh that very evening to the Com- 
mandant of the distriet, peremptorily forbidding the employment of 
his troops in the capture of negroes, and the payment of their wages 
in slaves ; and that a eopy of his order should be sent to the Consulate. 
I ventured to tell him that I had no doubt publicity would be given to 
his humane intentions in England— and I rejoice here to fulfil the 
pledge I gave him— and that however great the difficulties might 
seem in the way of abolishing the slave-trade, they would be over- 
come by a determined perseveranee, and that the glory of success 
would be heightened by the impediments surmounted. I added, that 
his neighbour, the Imatjm of Muscat, also a Mohammedan Prince, 
had given already a noble example, by abolishing the export slave- 
trade at the sacrifiee of a large annual revenue ; to which his High- 
ness answered, he had the highest opinion of the charaeter of the 
Imaum, and was on terms of intimate alliance with him. "We men- 
tioned to the Pacha that several Frenchmen were also engaged in the 
slave-trade. The Pacha answered that he had never authorised the 
earrying on the slave-trade by foreigners." 

It is a deplorable fact to which I call the attention of my friend M. 
Isambert, that the tri-coloured flag is used at the Nile for the purpose 
of conducting Nubians to slavery. That flag which I would always treat 
with respect, because I love and honour the nation which it represents. 
But it is undoubtedly a fact, of which I have had individual and per- 
sonal experience, that that flag is degraded, and that nation is dishonoured 
by being made the means of bringing Nubians to the slave-markets of Tyre 
and Alexandria. "We mentioned these facts to the Pacha, and reported 
the names of those whom the Consul-General thought it necessary to 
denounce to the French Consul, in order to obtain the interference of the 
French government to put a stop to their iniquitous proceedings. I have 
stated in another part of this Report, that I am confident it will be possible 
by direct negociation to obtain the concurrence of the Pacha of Egypt, 
the most influential of Mohammedan Sovereigns, the only Sovereign who 
is rising in influence while every other is falling. I have no doubt whatever 
that it will be possible to obtain his aid, his co-operation in the abolition of 
slavery in the Levant. The sufferings of the blacksin Eastern Africa are beyond 
all description. I have seen the caravans coming over the desert, the slaves 
naked, exhausted, and emaciated, telling the story of the multitudes who had 
" "n the way, and the sufferings of those who had b 



197 

have heard from" their own lips what has happened when these gazzuas or 
slave-hunts have desolated districts capable of bountiful and boundless pro- 
duction—districts which have been delivered over to destruction by this 
omnipotent and barbarizing scourge. I need not speak to you of the aptitudes 
of Eastern Africa. I will mention one fact with reference to a small part of 
that portion of the globe. At the confluence of the White and Blue Nile, there 
is a town called Kartonm, which you will scarcely find noticed upou maps. 
A few years ago there was hardly an inhabitant to occupy the few negro 
huts erected there. The whole of the neighbouring country was desolated 
and depopulated by the slave-hunts, yet the situation is one of the most attrac- 
tive which exists ; and a town has lately, by the gradual progress of civi- 
lization, been erected. According to the last accounts, there were not less 
than 20,000 inhabitants, in a spot, whose name, as I said before, was almost 
unknown to geographers. The neighbouring territory has been called into 
fertility, and many Europeans have already made their fortunes there. To 
what is this to be attributed ? To the influence of peace, to the security 
obtained for person and property. I know no reason why this influence 
should ndt extend. I believe it would be possible to prove to every 
Sovereign in Eastern Africa, that, to say nothing of his duty, it is his 
interest to employ the labour of his subjects in the cultivation of the fields 
on the spot on which they are born. I would put it on the selfish ground of 
his own interests, and shew him that far more is to be obtained from the 
African labourer, if left to cultivate the soil, than by selling him away from 
his native land. I have no doubt that if this consideration be strongly put 
forward, the fouudation will be laid for great and important changes. Do 
not believe that even the Christian people of Africa are not deeply involved 
in slavery. Do not believe that the stigma attaches only to Mohamme- 
danism and Paganism. Not long ago two priests from the capital of Abys- 
sinia, had charge of some Christian youths whom they were to take to 
Jerusalem. Among all Oriental nations pilgrimage is a paramount duty, a 
great enjoyment ; it brings with it reputation for sanctity. On this occasion, 
these nominally Christian teachers, when they reached Massouwa, the port of 
Abyssinia, sold these children as slaves to Mussulman masters. I mention 
this, lest you should suppose that a mere profession of Christianity gives you 
any guarantee for the overthrow of slavery. Christianity must come with its 
high and its ennobling principles, with its virtues as well as with its creeds ; 
aud sure I am, that when it comes represented by its benevolence and by its' 
charity, it will produce important changes, not only among Mohammedan 
natious, but throughout the world. 

Mr. SAMS— Having, some time ago, visited the whole of the interesting coun- 
tries to which our worthy friend has alluded, and feeling with him a peculiar 
interest in those countries, I am disposed, with the permission of the Chai rman, 
to add a few words to what he has stated. I agree in opinion with Dr. Bq wring 
that the state of slavery in Eastern Africa is iudeed not so wretched, and that 
the slaves do not experience that cruel treatment which obtains (with sorrow 
be it said) under Christian domination. Nevertheless, I was much pleased 
with one observation of the worthy Doctok, that he wished some memorial 
might go from this Convention to the Governors of the East, say to the 
Sultan and to Mohammed An,to the latter of whom I had also the pleasure 
of being introduced. I am persuaded, from the kind feeling of the Governors 
of these parts, that a memorial from this assembly, recommending the aboli- 



tion of slavery, would receive very great attention. Although the slaves do 
not suffer in Eastern Africa, as our slaves did in the "West Indies, still slavery 
is an extreme evil, even there. I have seen many distresses, and sorrowful 
circumstances arise from it. "We are aware that Egypt horders on Nubia, the 
Ethiopia of the sacred volume, a land which is peopled by blacks. A large 
number of these are introduced annually into Egypt, not merely for the 
supply of that country, but for the use of nearly all the Mohammedan 
states. "When on the borders of Ethiopia, I happened to fall in with what, 
has been very rightly designated, " a slave-hunting gang." They had just 
crossed the great cataracts of the Nile, and had arrived in Egypt, with 
a cargo of black female slaves. The very visages of the gang were to me 
most disgusting. Of all the human beings whom I ever saw, I think I never 
witnessed such countenances ; they seemed truly to deserve the epithet of 
fiend-like. Many of the slaves were children, from perhaps eight to thirteen 
years old. Some of them had endeavoured to run away, and the most cruel 
means had been adopted as well to prevent this, as to re-take them. ^ Lances 
had been thrown at them, and some of them had severe gashes, which from 
the heat of the country were festered, and rendered the suffering great. 
There is also a circumstance to which our friend has not alluded, probably by 
accident, but it is of a shocking description. A large number of negro boys 
are introduced into this country for a horrible purpose, and many of them 
die under the cruelties to which they are thus subjected. A place about the 
centre of Egypt is set apart for the purpose* Having passed through Egypt, 
Palestine, or the Holy Land, Syria, and the Wilderness, even to Mount Sinai, 
I have seen a good deal of the state of slavery which exists in those parts ; and 
have necessarily seen also much of the native disposition and real character of 
the blacks. One or two circumstances which occurred while travelling through 
those countries, and which I shall not soon forget, may interest the Conven- 
tion. In consequence of the excessive heat, and the privations I had occa- 
sionally to endure, I became exceedingly indisposed, and was detained in 
Egypt much longer than I intended. On my return from the Upper country 
and the hilliest part of Nubia, I stopped at Boulac, a considerable town and 
the port of Grand Cairo, where I could get the benefit of the air of the Nile. 
I mention the anecdote to show the natural feelings of that cruelly persecuted 
class, the blacks of Africa. I had a black and an Arab, servants, who with 
myself, constituted my little household. Being extremely ill, I once sent the 
Arab to purchase some fresh meat for broth, thinking I could perhaps take a 
little. He stayed out about three hours, and when he returned pretended 
that he could not procure any. I was well persuaded that this was design ; 
that he thought I should sink under this illness, and that he should come in 
for a portion of the substance I had about me. Extremely different, however, 
was the couduct of the poor black, who endeavoured on this occasion, as on 
others, to do everything to cheer, to comfort, and to assist. At one period, I 
remember, weighed down with illness, and meditating on the distance I 
was from my native land and from those dear to me, tears almost involun- 
tarily flowed ; the black, who observed this, came up with much kindness, 
and took a handkerchief to wipe them as they fell, continuing to evince the 



* This species of shameful cruelty, arising out of the human traffic i: 
slaves, is probably unknown iu any other portion of the globe. 



greatest solicitude to contribute to my comfort, to sooth, and to help. If I 
shall not be detaining the Convention too long, I will give another anecdote.- 
It is further descriptive of the character of the unfeeling negro race. Near to 
the great cataracts of the Nile there is a considerable island of great beauty, 
which I have no doubt, our worthy friend, Dr. Bowring, has seen, the island 
of Elephantina. In those countries there are not only no coaches but there 
are no suitable roads, simply a small, difficult, or dangerous track for a mule, 
or a camel. But, as we are aware, Egypt is a valley, the longest, as I believe, 
aud the most fertile in the world ; and every great city in that interesting 
country, (the country, I may say, of Abraham, as well as of Jacob, of Joseph, 
of Moses, and of the Israelites) is situate on one side or the other of the Nile. 
So that, in order to travel agreeably there, we hire an Egyptian vessel and 
navigate this noble river. I was travelling up the country in one of these 
vessels, at one end of which are two small rooms where we eat, drink, aud 
sleep. We drew up nearly at this islaud of Elephantina. A Mameluke, 
whom I had with me, and myself went on shore. This is an island highly 
interesting as well as beautiful j there is a very remarkable antient building 
there, the remains of a temple, and many other objects important to the 
traveller. We were much charmed with the beauties and interest of the 
scene, and prolonged our stay till the shades of evening began to gather 
around us. The Mameluke and myself being thus alone on the island, we 
observed a company of black women at a distance, who noticed us a good 
deal— we were not at all aware for what reason— but, after observing us 
for some time, and, as we thought, speaking about us, one of them came 
forward from the rest, laid something on the ground,* and beckoned to us 
kindly to come forward. We imagined they might have something to sell, 
for the island abounds with interesting antiquities of many kinds. However, 
we went towards them, and when we got to the place what think you it was J 
A very nice supper prepared for us, it might seem, in their best manner. These 
poor women, these cruelly aspersed blacks, who are said to be capable of no 
kind feeling, saw two strangers on their island, they saw the shades of even- 
ing overtake them, they themselves had probably lately eaten, and thinking 
that these strangers whom they had never knoim, whom they had never before seen, 
would also want refreshment, had prepared amongst them unasked for and 
unsought an excellent supper, and begged them in a delicate and kind manner 
to partake of it. I mention this instance to show that the dispositions of 
these people for kind-heartedness, tenderness, and sympathy, are, through tho 
Divine goodness, though I would not say superior, certainly, by no means 
inferior, to those of the boasted whites. For my own part, I must say I never 
met with greater kindness and sympathy, and fellow-feeling than I have done 
from the blacks ; and I have been many long journeys with some of these 
people, who were either my servants, or were connected with the Arabs of 
whom I had hired camels. One I had the pleasure of manumitting and 
setting free ; eveu that one to whom I have alluded, that attended me with 
so much feeling, and so faithfully in my sickness. I heartily unite in the 
observation of Dr. Bowking, that some strong recommendation should go 
rortn trom this interesting assembly, to the potentates of the East, that they 
should at the earliest possible opportunity cmse slavery to cease in their dominions. 



■>e tables in these 



but the ground, or floor, is their 



The following resolution has, since I have been speaking, been put into my 
hands, and which I with pleasure move — 

That a committee be appointed, to take into consideration the best 
way of assisting to effect the suppression of slavery in Mohammedan 
countries ; and that Dr. Bowring, W. Forster, J. Ac-worth, and 
J. Carlile, be such committee. 

Rev. J. BURNET.— I entirely concur in the views which have been taken 
of the vast importance of sending to the Mohammedan countriesj for 
the purpose of endeavouring to remove the cruelties and the disgrace of 
slavery from those lands. Some difficulty has been expressed as to whether 
this Convention can address the government of a nation. Now, I do not 
know that there is any rule by which we can he guided in this course, inas- 
much as no nation has laid down any plau by which it is to be addressed 
by voluntary societies. It does not follow, however, from this circumstance, 
that we may not address the governments of the earth ; and if they find that 
people of all lands have come together on a great question, that philanthropists 
of every creed and clime have concurred in that question, that the voice 
of civilized Europe goes along with those philanthropists in that question ; 
if they find that day after day no divisions have taken place in that assembly 
of philanthropists upon that question, but merely such divisions as arise out 
of different opinions with regard to the mode of carrying it out ; if they find 
that this has been the result of a general demand, previously made for the 
enfranchisement of the slaves of a whole empire, and that that demand has 
been practically and actually met ; if they find that one empire having washed 
its hands of this foul traffic to such an extent, invites others, and that those 
others receive that invitation kindly ; and generously, and emphatically, and 
cordially, respond to it ; and if they thus find that there is really a moral 
war declared against all the slave nations of the earth by all that have con- 
sidered this great and important subject, I would say that any government 
would feel as much difficulty in refusing on the ground of etiquette, to 
receive an address from such an assembly, as it would feel in actually 
rejecting it. The disgrace of the rejection would be as great a difficulty as 
the breach of national etiquette in the acceptance of such an address. 
Perplex and confound them with moral and religious boldness, and if 
you cannot induce them to sweep away every vestige of national and 
political etiquette, you will at least call up the blush into their coun- 
tenance, when they reflect that there is a necessity to thiuk at all on 
such a mean and degrading fact as that they are the governors of slaves. 
But I am not disposed to say, that the only course we have to take is, that of 
an address to such governments. "We must defer very much to the opiuion 
of such gentlemen as have now addressed us, and who have visited these 
countries ; and in deferring to their opinions, practically formed as they are, 
on the circumstances in which slavery exists in those countries, I am sure 
we shall find that we are deferring to an opinion which cannot materially mis- 
lead us. It may be necessary that deputations should be sent to those coun- 
tries, and it may be necessary that remonstrances should be made by those 
deputations. The day lias gone by when difficulties would staud in the way 
of pursuing such a course. We think it nothing now, in these days of st 
and railroads, to take advantage of the progress in 1 



arts of transportation. 



201 

and to send a philanthropist to Cairo, to Alexandria, to Naplous, to Mount 
Sinai itself, or any part of the habitable globe. Philanthropy has wings and 
it has learnt to spread them — they are wings that "never tire ; and when once 
they are spread, the rising sun indicates the point whence they start, and 
when the sun goes down they ply their way by moonlight, and in the night 
pursue their glorious course. As philanthropy enlarges, the world contracts ; 
and as the human mind takes a larger, a nobler, and a more elevated view of 
its moral and religious obligations, the size of our globe is felt to diminish, 
and we can now observe what before we could only read of at a distance ; we 
can now take our course through these nations, observe their character and 
study their amelioration, and if governments at home, or governments abroad 
are indisposed to listen, we may swell the clamour of the people's thunder : 
let it be legitimate, moral, religious, but let it rise in emphasis so sublime, 
yet so astounding, that no government cau lend a deaf ear to its call. I am glad 
there is a committee to be appointed to undertake this work. This Convention, 
let it be remembered, has no power but moral power ; and moral power 
knows no etiquette, no barriers arising from national objections ou the part 
of governments to listen to any petition, but the petitions of their own sub- 
jects ; and therefore as our power is moral, let us, knowing as we do the value 
of that description of power, wield it manfully ; and if the governments of the 
earth require to be redeemed from the slavery of ancient opinions, and some 
of them to those opinions are themselves slaves, let us then endeavour to 
relieve the slaves that rule as well as the slaves that are ruled. I beg to 
second the resolution. 

Mr. J. FORSTER.— I wish to make an inquiry for the purpose of infor- 
mation. About fifteen months ago, I received the impression in Paris, that 
the Pacha of Egypt had liberated a large number of slaves. I would ask 
Dr. Bo wring, whether he is able to give this assembly any more recent 
information as to that account, if it is fully confirmed ; and if he is in 
possessiou of any information of a very late date as to the real state of the 
slavery of this class of the population of Egypt. 

Dr. BOWRINGv— I was not aware of the fact to which our friend has re- 
ferred ; but since I left Egypt, the Pacha has himself undertaken a j ourney into 
Nigritia, a part of ancient Ethiopia. I have received communications from 
him as to his proceedings in those countries ; they were certainly full of the 
kindest intentions towards the slaves. The facts that developed themselves 
during that extraordinary journey, (a very extraordinary one for a despotic 
Sovereign of seventy-two years of age to undertake, in which he frequently 
travelled for sixteen hours a day, on the back of a camel or dromedary, and in 
which he certainly addressed most excellent counsels to the barbarous princes 
of the territories through which he passed), these facts impressed his mind with 
a very strong conviction that slavery had been most eminently pernicious to 
those countries. Some very interesting commercial, and agricultural facts 
were exhibited in the progress of that journey. They found, for example, 
that much of the country was covered with indigenous cotton ; that there 
were means of producing gum and various other articles of commerce to an 
almost boundless extent. In the last letters that I have received from Egypt, 
I have an account that the Pacha had directed investigation to be pursued on 
the White Nile ; and that he had directed a very considerable establishment, 
headed by Europeans, to fix itself at Kartoum, which is the town I have 



mentioned, at the confluence of the Blue and the White Nile. I trust that 
the attention of this government will be called to the importance of having 
some representative there. I believe if ■ British auspices, or European 
auspices, or still better, Christian auspices were brought to watch over the 
work of civilization which is going on there, that most important social and 
commercial results would be the consequence. I will mention a fact which I 
forgot to state in my former address. I made it my business to hold inter- 
course with every caravan, and every group of slaves which I met in my pro- 
gress to Nubia. On every occasion, I asked the Jellabs, or the dealers in 
slaves, whether it would not be for their individual interest to import some 
other article than slaves, for the payment of those European commodities 
which they were taking into the interior of Africa ; and from the whole of 
them I gathered facts which left on my mind this impression, that if the 
Africans could pursue the labour of agriculture, in peace and tranquillity, if 
those valuable and productive lands could be turned to account by agricultural 
knowledge, and by the application of capital, that there would be no indis- 
position, on the part of the slave-dealers themselves, to take to a new profession, 
in which they would soon discover it was for their interest to bring the pro- 
duce of the soil to market, instead of those wbom nature, and the God 
of nature intended to be the cultivators of the soil. I will also add, that 
when I was in Egypt, a notion was spread among the Jellabs, that I had 
obtained from the Pacha a promise that he would abolish slavery by force. I 
obtained no such promise. The Pacha never concealed from me, and I could 
not conceal from myself, the immense difficulty of his position. He said again 
aud again that he disapproved of slavery, that he knew that slavery brought 
with it great suffering and great degradatiou, that he believed the import of 
slaves was not beneficial to his own lauds, while it was extremely detrimental 
to the land from which tbe slaves were torn away ; but he said " You must not 
forget the prejudices that surround me ; you must not forget the character of 
Mussulman society ; you must not forget that we have no family which has 
not in it mauy a slave ; you must not forget our harems which are in the 
hands of our slaves ; but I am willing for my part to direct that my soldiers shall 
not be hunters or captors of slaves ; and I am willing, as you tell me that my 
governors have captured slaves for the payment of the wages of my troops, I 
am willing to issue an order, and if you like, any man nominated by you shall 
be the bearer of that order, to the governors of Nigritia, declaring that I 
have seen their proceedings with disapprobation, and directing that for the 
future all such proceedings shall cease." I certainly wish that the Pacha of 
Egypt should be called on to bear this subject in mind. I am earnestly 
desirous that the British government, in a spirit of kindly feeling, and in the 
lauguage of kindness and urbanity, should do him justice for what he has 
almidy done, and encourage him to do more. lam desirous that a man so 
distinguished as he is, a man of so great an intellect and capacity, and of so 
boundless an influence in the Mohammedan world, that he should not pass 
iuto his grave without having his great means turned to some account ; to 
the account of humanity, civilization, and the final overthrow of slavery. 

The resolution was then put and carried unanimously. 

B,ev. J. BENNETT, (of Northampton) moved, that the very grateful 
thanks of this Convention be presented to John Bowring, Esq., LL.D., 



for the valuable service he has rendered this day, in his faithful trans- 
lation of the addresses of the French gentlemen. 

Mr. SAMS seconded the resolution, which was put and carried by- 
acclamation. 

Mr. JOSEPH STURGE.— Perhaps I maybe allowed to refer to the subject 
which our friend Buk.net introduced, which we had better decide without 
discussing further ; and that is the question, as to the right, or rather the pro- 
priety of this Convention addressing foreign governments. I hope the opinion 
that he has expressed will be taken as the unanimous opinion of this meeting, 
if so, we had better draw up a resolution at once to that effect. 

Dr. BOWRING.— I believe it is quite understood that the only means 
of one government communicating with another is through the diplomatic 
agent at the court of that government, and that diplomatic agent com- 
municates nothing but what he receives from the foreign minister of 
the country which he represents. Now, although I think it is extremely 
desirable that you should engage the foreign minister of this country to 
interest himself in this question ; yet when you resolve that you will commu- 
uicate with a foreign goverumeut you resolve that to which yon cannot give 
effect. I would, therefore, suggest that you resolve to memoralize Lord 
Palmerston, and request that he will communicate with the foreign govern- 
ments ; but I know of no means by which you yourselves can regularly enter 
into communication with governments of a foreign state. I feel this difficulty, 
not that I object that you should seek the means of communicating with 
foreign governments, but merely to represent to you that there is this ori- 
ginal difficulty in such a communication. 

Mr. SAMS.— Allow me to make a single remark. Although technically 
and formally I am well aware that what Dr. Bowring has advanced is cor- 
rect j yet lam also of opinion that the Pacha of Egypt would receive a commu- 
nication from such a body as this, and I feel confident that he would give it 
his serious attentiou and consideration. I desire to throw this out, for I 
cannot help wishing that this Convention should address these Eastern Poten- 
tates ; and I certainly do think that communications issuing from this impor- 
tant assembly would assuredly be received by them, aud that they would meet 
with every attention. 

Rev. T. SCALES.— With reference to the question thus brought before 
us, I would intimate, that I believe Captain Moorsom has prepared a paper 
on the very subject of international intercourse, so that in all probability 
the question will be opened anew, and will come up in such a way as to obtain 
more full and serious discussion ; and then, probably, should the Conveution 
come to the determination that they have the power, aud consider it their 
right to exercise it, it will be carried back over the different resolutions 
we have come to already, in reference to making our appeal to nations, aud 
also authorise the committees to make their appeals to the heads of govern- 
ments as well as to the nations themselves. 

RICHARD ALLEN,Esq., (of Dublin).— May I take the liberty of asking two 
or three questions, not so much with a view of haviug them answered now 
as to draw the attentiou of this assembly to these points. First, Is it a fact 
that there are in Birmingham large quantities of fire-arms manufactured for 
the purpose of being sold for war amoug the Africans ? Secondly, Is it the 



;o dictate 



204 

case that fetters for slaves are manufactured in Birmingham % And, thirdly, 
Is it not the case that there are immense quantities of cotton goods manu- 
factured to he taken into the African slave-market and exchanged for slaves ? 
I ask these questions, because I think if this is so, it does in some degree need 
some attention from this Convention. 

Rev. W. BEVAN.— I apprehend that these inquiries may, with great pro- 
priety, he made -when the subject of the slave-trade comes on to-morrow. 

Mr. STACEY — I hope that this Convention will not feel itself prevented 
by the hints of Dr. Bowring from addressing the heads of foreign govern- 
ments. I would not have it turned away from this point. 

Rev. T. SCALES.— There is one consideration I would venture to suggest. 
It is not upon any commercial or political, but simply upon moral grounds 
that we take our stand. We are not merely of this or that nation, but a 
Convention of all nations, and surely such a Convention might be allowed 
to break through the trammels of mere etiquette. It occupies ground much 
higher than that of the mere potentates of this world, and therefore is not to- 
be fettered or bouud by such tics. 

Rev. E. GALUSHA.— One word on this subject. It is desirable that we 
should have a precedent for our proceedings. I consider that this Convention 
occupies a moral elevation from which it may look down on any throne or il " 
face of the earth. I speak of its moral elevation, for we do not 
to Sovereigns what they shall do as Sovereigns ; we only c< 
the voice of eternal truth, which descends on the thrones of the Kings of the 
earth, and that truth is the voice of God, let who will utter it, in sincerity and 
simplicity. The precedent to which I allude, is, that of a servant of God, 
who thus addressed one of the Soveueigns of this realm, who spoke out while 
he was preaching the gospel in his presence, " when the lion roars, the beasts 
of the forest tremble, and when the Lord speaks, let Kings keep silence." 
This was the voice of God's servant addressed to the Sovereign, because he 
considered his elevation in a moral point of view, above that of Kings. So 
let this Convention proceed and carry out this principle, by addressing the 
dignitaries of the earth in-the name of God and humanity. 

JOSEPH T. PRICE, Esq., (Delegate from Swansea).— I was, I confess, 
disposed to entertain some doubts on the question now before the meeting, 
because I am not aware, that we could produce a precedent and show that our 
own British Parliament would be receivers of petitions from foreigners thus 
associated. At the same time, I confess, it does appear to me that this is a 
new description of meeting, such as has not taken place before J and there- 
fore, I thiuk it does merit very grave consideration before we relinquish our 
privileges as British subjects, associated here, of being able to present a peti- 
tion to our own Parliament and the Queen, even though there are foreigners 
associated with us ; and therefore before the object be wholly relinquished, 
either with regard to our own or other nations, I hope it will receive mature 
deliberation. I do not think it would be wise for us to come to a conclusion 
precipitately on the subject. For one, I would, I confess rather run the risk 
even of a rejection, than not aim at the accomplishment of so high an object, 
and I consider we should achieve much even were such the result. 

The CHAIRMAN.— It may be that the practice of a country and a govern- 
meut constituted like ours, may differ very widely from the practice of 
governmeuts differently constituted ; but I know of no distinction which is 
made in the national legislature of the United States, in the reception of 



205. 






citizens. "Within the last two 
many gentlemen and ladies 



petitions from foreigners and 

years, indeed at the last two se 

also, I believe, in this country, authors and authoresses, have petitioned the 

Congress of the United States to secure to them the same right in their 

publications which American authors have. I have never heard the objection 

made before in our country on the score of the petition beiug sent in by 

foreigners. I merely give the fact— make what use of it you please. 

Colonel MILLER. — I feel very great delicacy in differing from the 
gentleman near me. (Dr. Bowring). We contend in our country that the 
right of petition is a right derived from God. We have a right to petition, 
there is nobody so abject that has not this right. What have we assembled 
for, let me ask ? To have a moral bearing on the world. If we make no 
request to the potentates of the earth, can we expect them- to come and 
inquire what we want of them ? Why, republican as I am, I would get down 
on my knees to any Sovereign on the earth to beg the liberty of the oppressed. 
I would do it most cheerfully. And shall we fall back now ? Our friend 
Dr. Bowring has stated, what he got hy a single petition to Mohammed Axi, 
that man who has waded to his place almost through seas of blood ; why, he 
immediately set off on his dromedary to see that the poor slave's case was 
attended to. And it may be, if we, insignificant as our names may appear, in 
the eyes of the potentates of the earth, humhly beseech them in the name of 
the God of mercy, and Him who died for our redemption, to have mercy on 
these poor creatures, that they will grant it. Let us remember that beautiful 
passage in the gospel respecting the poor widow and the unjust judge, though 
he feared not God, nor regarded man, yet the widow prevailed by her impor- 
tunity j then let not that importunity he neglected by us. 

Mr. SPRAGUE.— I am sure there can be no objection to addressing a 
communication to the President of the United States. I should much prefer 
that to an address to the Congress of the United States ,• and for the same 
reason that I should prefer a communication addressed to the President of 
the United States, I shouldprefer one addressed to the King op the French. 
We can get a communication to those individuals, as Sovereigns of nations, 
when we cannot get it to the National legislature. And the grand object would 
be attained ; the influence of this Convention would go out ; its addresses would 
be published to the world ; its opinions would be known to the several nations 
hy the heads of those nations, and thus our objects would be accomplished ; 
but in addressing only governments and legislatures we might fail. My 
opinion would be that an address should go to the President of the United 
States, and the heads of different governments where slavery is tolerated. 

Dr. GREVILLE, — I shall venture but a very few observations on this 
subject. To my own mind the subject appears a very clear one. I mean to 
say the propriety of the measure. At the same time, I quite appreciate, the 
difficulty which Dr. Bowring has mentioned. If, however, the Convention 
determines on appealing to governments, or the heads of governments, I 
believe some means will be found of their reaching their destination. I look 
upon ourselves as engaged wholly in a great moral question. If I see sin in 
my neighbour, I am bound on my Christian principles to rebuke that sin, and 
to do it in a Christian and a kindly spirit. If that is my duty as an individual, 
it is surely our duty as a body now assembled for a special purpose, provided 
we see sins in any other collective body on the face of the earth, to rebuke 
them. I consider ourselves as of no nation ; as assembled from all nations, 



as representing no one nation in particular, but all nations ; aimiug at one 
grand moral end, and met for the special purpose of bearing upon all the 
nations of the world. I do hope that we shall come unanimously to the 
determination, that we have a right to appeal to all governments, and I hope 
that we shall do so. 

Dr. BOWRING.— A single word in explanation. I think I have been 
misunderstood. I am not at all desirous that Governments and Monarchs 
should not be addressed. I only spoke as to the form of doing it. It is quite 
clear that our Parliament would not receive a petition from this Convention. 
The petition from the Poles was rejected on a point of form. 

A DELEGATE.— I think Dr. Bowring is wrong in saying that Par- 
liament would not receive any communica.tion from this Convention ; I think 
I was present when Parliament received a petition from the National Con- 
vention. 

Dr. BOWRING.— That was an English Convention. 

Mr. S. BOWLY.— I would only ask in what worse a position would the 
Convention be if its communications were rejected. Our object is to convey 
information. If Parliament refuse to accept a petition, the information is 
generally known to the country at large. Therefore I think that if an address 
from this Convention were refused on technical grounds, the great object of 
.... i u '.on would be attained. 

Captain WAUCHOPE.— I believe, with all deference to our friend Dr. 
Bowring, that it will be found that the official mode of sending petitions to 
foreign governments, is to place them in the hands of the foreign ministers, 
who are bound to transmit them. 

Dr. BOWRING.— No. 

Captain WAUCHOPE.— I believe it is so ; that is the case with private 

ANTHONY FEWSTER, Esq.., (of Stroud).— I would ask any of our 
American friends, whether in the event of this Convention determining to 
address the President of the United States, the address would generally 
appear in-the American newspapers. 

Rev. C. E. LESTER.— Yes, and we could publish it as well in a cheap form. 
I would beg leave to suggest one thought, whether it might not be proper 
for this Convention to present a very respectful remonstrance to our minister 
at the Court of St. James, that he set a better example to others when he 
comes here, than by keeping his vassals in bondage at home. 

Mr. J. FORSTER — The main question under consideration has reference to 
foreign monarchs, though the term government, has been used. In all pro- 
bability no difficulty would present itself in gaining access to the Kings 
of France, Holland, or Denmark. 

Rev. J. BURNET I think there is considerable difficulty in coining to a 

decided rule on this subject. If we address the Sovebeign s of Europe, or the 
President of the United States, by a rule passed here, and call on them to 
accept our address, I am afraid they would not accept it so readily. I think 
the best way would be, without coming to a resolution on the subject, to do 
all we can in addressing governments, and leave it to the Committee to do all 
they can ; but do not fiat it by the authority of this Convention, and ask them 
to accept your address, because it is so ruled. 

The CHAIRMAN.— No resolution has been offered on the subject. 

Rev. J. BURNET.— Then it would be better to drop it. 



207 

Mr. B ALLEN. — I have a fourth question to propose. Is it not the case 
that there are shares held by Euglishmenin Brazilian and other mines; which 
are worked by slaves. I ask these questions because I think wc cannot fairly 
go and point to a nation as foul, if wc do not endeavour to cleanse ourselves. 

The Convention then adjourned. 



FIFTH DAY'S SITTINGS, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 1840. 

( MOBNING-.) 

W. T. BLAIR, Esq., in the Chair. 

The minutes of yesterday were read and confirmed. 

Mr. SCOBLE on the call of the Chairman, proceeded to make the 

following observations on 

THE PRESENT STATE OP THE AFRICAN SLAVE-TRADE. 
I did not expect that I should be called upon this morning to address 
you on this most interesting and important subject. I had expected that 
some other topic would have engaged the attention of the Convention. 
But since I have received the intimation that I was to address you, I have 
endeavoured to gather up such facts as will enable you to form some idea 
of the extent of the slave-trade, as carried on at the present time. My 
state of health however, will not permit me to go very much into detail. 
Without any further preface, therefore, I will merely read what I have 
collected from parliamentary and official documents, on the subject to which 
your attention is to be called. 

It is a fact placed beyond all doubt that the African slave-trade has 
doubled sinee the period when Great Britain declared it unlawful and 
felonious for any of her subjects to engage in it ; and that all the efforts 
which have hitherto been made by this country, under treaties with 
foreign powers for its entire suppression, have only multiplied its horrors 
without diminishing its extent. Seventy-two thousand was the average 
amount per annum, of the victims of this nefarious traffic, previously to 
the year 1807; at the present time it cannot be less than one hundred 
and forty thousand ! 

After the elaborate calculations and statements contained in Mr. 
Buxton's important volume on the Slave-trade, it is unnecessary that 
we should do more than add such information on the extent of the 
slave-trade, as has appeared since it went to press. We begin with 



Brazil. From official documents printed by command of bis late 
Majesty in 1831, it appears there were introduced into the province of 
Rio alone, during the three years, ending 30th June, 1830, no less than 
448,940 slaves ; this gives an average of 49,646 per annum. Into 
Bahia, Pernambuco, Maranham and Para, there were introduced from 
1st January, 1829, to 30th June, 1830, a period of one year and a half, 
32,332 slaves, or 21,554 annually; which gives for Brazil a total of 
71,200 slaves imported each year. From this period (1830) agreeably 
to stipulations with this country, the slave-trade was declared to be 
piracy by the Emperor of Brazil. But we have the strongest evidence 
to prove that it has increased in activity and extent since that time. 
In the papers presented to Parliament in 1836, we find that the number 
imported into the province of Rio alone, with which the -British 
minister became acquainted, was for the year 1837, the extraordinary 
number of 46,000 ! These wretched beings were imported in 92 vessels, 
under the Portuguese flag, " within," as he states, " a very limited 
extent of coast on either side the harbour of Rio de Janeiro." In 1838, 
the number reported to have been introduced in 84 Portuguese vessels 
in the same district, was 36,974 ; but the British minister adds this 
remark to the return, " the real number imported into the province 
(Rio) is probably 40,000 or upwards." 

It appears that during the year, our cruizers off that station made 
several captures : and that, in consequence, the slavers were warned off 
and landed their cargoes on other parts of the coast. How many may 
have been landed in the provinces of Bahia, Pernambuco, Maranham, 
and Para, during the same period, we have no means of judging; 
there cannot be a doubt, however, that the number equals, if it does not 
surpass that of any former period. The extent of coast to which the 
slavers have access, comprehends a space of more than 2600- miles, and 
affords every possible facility for carrying on their nefarious operations. 
Lieutenant Armitage, who is well acquainted with the subject, and 
has had ample means of judging, gives it as his opinion, that 90,000 
slaves are annually imported into Brazil, from the coast of Africa. 

We next take Cuba. It is extremely difficult to ascertain the 
probable number of slaves introduced into this island annually, the data 
on which to form a correct judgment, being so extremely imperfect. It 
appears, however, from the statements of the commissioners in their 
official correspondence with Her Majesty's Government, that, " at the 



209 

very least, 15,000 negroes" were landed at the Havana in 1835. 
In the papers printed by her Majesty's command last year, we 
find that in the year 1837, forty-eight vessels, and in 1838, forty- 
four vessels, entered the Havana with slaves, the average of each being 
443, would give a total of 40,756 slaves imported into that one 
port alone, during that time. The number of vessels ascertained to 
have been employed during these two years, amounted to 142, of which 
eighty-two were Portuguese, twenty-seven Spanish, thirty American 
(United States), the remaining three, sailed under Swedish, Brazilian, 
and French flags. 

In transmitting these lists home, her Majesty's Commissioners in 
their letter to Lorb Palmeeston, dated 1st January, 1839, say: — 
" While we feel gratified to think that these lists, on account of the 
source from whieh they are obtained, are much more complete than 
any furnished in preceding years, we regret to add, that they still 
remain less complete than might be desired from the parties being more 
upon their guard to baffle our inquiries. Still it is apparent from 
them, -that no increase of the traffic has taken place during the past 
year; the number of vessels dispatched being precisely the same, namely, 
seventy-one. "Whatever increase has taken place, has been from vessels 
being dispatched more from the other ports of the island ; though in 
this, as in many other particulars, little reliance can be placed on the 
reports that reach us. But there is great reason to believe that this 
plan has been for some time increasing. Eight vessels were condemned 
as Spanish at Sierra Leone, in the year 1837, and two at this place ; of 
which it appears from the printed accounts, that two belonged to 
Puerto Rico, two to Santiaga de Cuba, one to Mantanzas, one to 
Trinidad de Cuba, and only four were connected with Havana. 

Of eighteen vessels condemned at Sierra Leone, under the Portuguese 
flag, in the same year, nine only appear to us to have belonged to this 
port; of eight Portuguese condemned in the first six months of the 
present year at Sierra Leone, we can, from the names and particulars 
communicated to us, trace only two. Thus, then, it appears, that an 
increasing trade is carried on from other places, which is further corro- 
borated by the well ascertained fact, that an astonishing number of 
new estates have been opened throughout the island within the last 
two years. In the district of Cienfuegos, of forty estates now working 
there, twenty-seven have been of recent formation ; and though this 



210 

may be above tbe average, we believe it does not mueh exceed the pro- 
portion of many other distriets in eourse of cultivation." 

How many slavers effected the landing of their cargoes in Puerto 
Rico, we have no offieial data for showing, but that many thousands 
are annually introduced into that eolony there can be no doubt. 

Mr. Turnbull and Dr. Madden, fix the annual amount of slaves 
imported into the Havana, at about 25,000. Mr. Buxton at 60,000, 
in which he is home out by various authorities ; and gives, as the 
probable number imported into Puerto Rico, 7000 more. That the two 
former gentlemen have plaeed the estimate too low, we think there ean 
be no doubt ; that Mr. Buxton may have plaeed it too high is pro- 
bable, although I am inelined to believe, that his statement will be 
found to approximate very near to the aetual number introdueed. 
In January, 1839, there were landed at the Havana 2833 slaves ; in 
February 2555 ; in March 1258 ; and at Mantanzas 580, in all 7226, in 
three months, besides those which were landed elsewhere, and of which 
no information eould be obtained. 

During the year ending 31st December, 1838, the number of vessels 
eaptured by British eruizers, and condemned by the mixed Com- 
mission Courts at Sierra Leone, was thirty ; of whieh nineteen were 
Portuguese, and eleven were Spanish. The slaves taken on board of 
seventeeu of these vessels, amounted to 5847 ; the number found ou 
board the remaining thirteen vessels is not given. The number eap- 
tured and eondemned at Rio de Janeiro, during the six months, ending 
the 30th June, 1838, was three, having on board 746. The proportion 
however of eaptured vessels is extremely small, compared with those 
aetually engaged in the slave-trade whieh successfully proseeute their 
voyage. 

It is quite evident that the Brazilian slave-trade is inereasing, and 
that it is carried on openly either with the connivanee, or in direet 
defiance of the authorities. In a despateh from Mr. Ouselby, dated 23rd 
March, 1839, he states:—" There are at this moment in Rio Harbour, 
between thirty and forty vessels, bought and equipped by a notorious 
slave-trader, provided with Portuguese papers by H. M. F. M., Consul- 
General." 

In view of all the faets of the case, there ean be little doubt that the 
victims of the Brazilian slave-trade, amount to 75,000 per annum, and 
that making every possible deduction from Mr. Buxton's statement of 



the Spanish slave-trade, not less certainly than 50,000 more are 
sacrificed to it; what numbers over and above these are introduced 
annually into Texas, Buenos Ayres, and elsewhere, it is impossible to 
say; but adding to them the number captured by British cruize rs, and 
the numbers who perish at sea from the storms and other casualties, it 
appears highly probable, that 140,000 Africans are annually torn from 
their native land, to meet the demand for slaves in the New "World, 
and it is not likely that this number will diminish. Texas, should it 
be able to maintain its independence, will open a vast market for slaves, 
whilst the decrease of slaves in the Spanish colonies, amounting to 8^ 
per cent, per annum, and in the Brazils, amounting to 5 per cent, per 
annum, will require at least 140,000 per annum to keep their present 
strength. 

One feature of the slave-trade as carried on at the present time is, 
that the demand is principally for children, and prime young people, 
under twenty years of age. On board four vessels captured in 1838, 
and condemned at Sierra Leone, there were found 751 children, and 512 
adults. It is sometimes the case, that the cargo is wholly composed of 
children. In the harbour of Ponce, Puerto Rico, which I visited about 
the middle of the last year, I found that the last cargo of slaves, 140 
in number, which had been introduced, was composed entirely of 
children under twelve years of age. 

I will not add any details of the horrors of the slave-trade, of the 
devastating and demoralizing effect of this nefarious traffic in the wars 
which it engenders in the interior of Africa, in the waste of human 
life, arising from the march of the slave coffles, across the burning and 
arid deserts of that continent, or in the destruction of refuse slaves on 
the coast : suffice it to say, that for every negro put on board the 
Spauish or Brazilian slaver, two perish, thus swelling the actual number 
of victims annually sacrificed to Mammon and Moloch, to an enormous 
amount. Nor will I detain your attention, by describing the horrors 
of the middle passage, with these, alas ! you are already too familiar, - 
beyond stating the bare fact, that the average mortality on the voyage 
has been ascertained to be 25 per cent. ; and that at this hour, there 
are probably not less than 20,000 Africans on their transit across the 
Atlantic, to supply the slave-markets of the western world. 

The victims of the Eastern or Mohammedan slave-trade are com- 
puted at 100,000 per annum. 



Dr. R. R. Madden, (of Dublin), late protector of liberated Africans 
in Cuba, then read the following paper on 

CUBAN SLAVERY. 

Sm,— I am so fully aware that my habits do not qualify me for the 
task that has been assigned me, and my state of health renders me so 
unequal to it, that nothing but a strong sense of the importance of the 
question I have been requested to afford some information on, could 
surmount the reluctance I feel, at presenting myself before a public 
meeting ; and especially before such an assembly as this, where, if I felt 
a momentary satisfaction in being recognised as one, who at least was 
known to be willing to serve this cause, who had walked after the 
hearse of slavery in Jamaica, assisted likewise in this country at the 
obsequies of the apprenticeship system, and employed a practised eye 
for some years past in taking the measure of the grave of slavery in 
Cuba itself; if in anything I have encountered of toil or peril in this 
cause, in the service of which I have spent the last seven years, I may 
say not in the peaceful closets of philanthropy, but in the field of slavery 
itself, as a mercenary, if you will, but as a soldier at all events, if any 
such feeling of pride was excited, the foolishness of it would be surely 
rebuked, by the presence and the hearing of those men who have so 
long toiled in the cause; but most especially of those men from 
America, who have come as one great cloud of witnesses across the 
Atlantic, and made you acquainted, not only with the wrongs of their 
black brethren, but likewise personally so with the heroic courage, and 
untiring energies which they have devoted to this question. 

It has been my fortune to have visited America three times during 
the last six years, and to have been afforded an ample opportunity of 
observing these truly noble men in the sphere of their own- duties and 
dangers — for these are never separated in America ; and if I had reason 
to rejoice for no other cause to have taken a part in these proceedings, 
than to have been permitted to bear my feeble testimony to the con- 
stancy of the courage of these brave, bold men, the most virtuous and 
amiable withal, I ever knew engaged in public strife, the most strongly 
actuated by high and generous motives, and the least influenced by 
anything vain or selfish — I would rejoice to have this occasion of re- 
cording my humble opinion of their worth : and yet I have heard these 
men counselled here to be more moderate in their language, and more 



213 

n their rebukes. Why, this is the counsel that ever has been 
given to persecuted men ; they are told they should " let the sweat of 
agony flow more decorously down their foreheads — they should groan 
in melody," and murmur their complaints in softer whispers. Were 
these the accents in which your own reformers spoke in former times ? 
Are these the accents, in which great complaints, real, or imaginary, 
have ever been proffered, or in which those who uttered them have 
made them to be redressed ? 

We are told that in the early ages of Christianity, slavery was known 
to exist, and slaves have been held by Christians, even in the times of 
the apostles. It is some consolation to know, however, that although 
there were slaves in the early ages of Christianity, there bave been 
martyrs in the latter ages of slavery ; and one of those noble soldiers 
of the cross, who sealed the covenant of truth with his blood in those 
early times, has declared, that there were two kinds of martyrdom ; 
one that gained the crown by the exercise of a sudden act of Christian 
fortitude; the other was a perpetual martyrdom that lasted during 
life, and only ended with it. And this was the highest martyrdom 
of all This is the kind of suffering and of sacrifice, our friends in 
America have undergone, and are daily undergoing there. 

As for the assertion, that there have been slaves in the early ages of 
Christianity, I for one admit that such was the case ; but for what 
purpose are the smouldering ashes of the Hebrew customs and usages, 
that were suffered to exist in those early times of Christianity, to be 
raked up ? Surely, if there be anything more evident than another in 
the whole history of religion, it is this, that whatever revelation has 
been made to us from on high, the whole course of God's teaching and 
communicatiou has been of a progressive character ; and that from the 
beginning of that teaching to the period of the greatest revelation of 
all, that progressive character has been seen in the course of the deve- 
lopment of the higher truths and more exalted doctrines that were 
taught, and that no violent disruption from what had gone before, was - 
permitted ; but in the words of Augustin, that it was apparently the 
inscrutable pleasure of Providence " that the synagogue should be 
buried with honour." And with it were interred those customs which 
were tolerated, perhaps, on account of the hardness of heart, which 
had given a temporary sanction to other usages no longer in existence. 

But the subject I have to speak to you on, is of somewhat a 



more praetical kind, and sueh as befits a praetical man to deal with ; 
namely, the state of slavery in Cuba, and on this subjeet I have en- 
countered so mueb error, both at home and abroad, that I have felt it 
my duty to give very partieular attention to it. 

In the Report presented hy Mows. A. db Tocqtjeville, to the 
Chamber of Deputies, on the 23rd of July, 1839, iu the name of the 
Commission, eharged with the examination of the proposition relative 
to the slaves of the Freneh colonies, I find a very important error, and 
one not only prevalent in Franee, hut in this country also, on the sub- 
jeet of the treatment of negroes held in bondage in the Spanish colonies, 
whieh if allowed to pass uneontradicted, might hereafter expose that 
valuable Report to eensure, and lead to the adoption of measures for the 
■ nominal amelioration of slavery in the Freneh eolonies, whieh would 
prove abortive. At page 17, of the published Report, I find it stated, 
that "it is of public notoriety in the New World, that slavery has 
always had with the Spaniards a peeuliar charaeter of mildness ; one 
ean eonvinee himself of this in reading over the ordiuanees made by 
the Kings of Spain, at an epoeb when, amongst the other nations of 
Europe, the laws for the government of slaves were so strongly tine- 
tured with barbarity. TheSpaniards who showed themselves so cruel 
towards the Indians, have always ruled their slaves with a singular 
humanity. In their colonies, the distinction between blacks and whites 
was less than in all the others ; and the authority of the owner resembled 
more that of a father of a family than of a master. The slave, better 
treated in these eolonies, sighed less after liberty, whieh ought to bo 
preeeded by arduous exertion ; henee, the legislator accorded him a right 
whieh he very seldom wished to avail himself of." 

Now, in the above statement, there are six distinet propositions, and 
five of them are entirely erroneous, namely, these :— 

1. That negro slavery has always had in the Spanish dominions " a 
peculiar eharaeter of mildness." 

2. That any sufficient proof of such a eharaeter eould be fairly drawn 
from the ordinances of the Kings of Spain for the government of their 
distinet eolonies. 

3. That the Spauiards, who had been sueh eruel masters to the 
Indians, " had always treated their slaves with singular humanity." 

4. That the authority of the master " resembles that of a father of a 
family." 



mmmmmmsmmmm 



5. That in eonsequenee of good and humane treatment, the slaves 
seldom desired to avail themselves of the privilege of claiming their 
freedom by purehase. 

And the only statement that is really eorreet in the whole passage, 
is eontained in these words : — " In these eoionies the distinction between 
blaeks and whites, was less than in all the others," presuming the 
meaning of the observation to be, that, amongst the Spaniards the pre- 
judice against the stolen people of Afriea, on aecount of their eom- 
plexion, is less than amongst the eolonists of other European states. 
Such unquestionably is the faet, and there is too much Moorish blood, 
in the veins of the descendants of the old " Conquisdadors/' for the 
feeling to be otherwise. 

Tolerably well acquainted with some of the British West India 
islands, with one of them both previously and subsequently to the act 
of emancipation, and having seen something of slavery in many eastern 
countries; I brought perhaps some little knowledge of the eondition of 
men held in slavery to the subject, wliieh has been the ohjeet of anxious 
inquiry with me, during a residenee of upwards of three years in a Spanish 
eolony where slavery flourishes, and where upwards of 400,000 human 
beings exist in that condition. Perhaps, this extensive acquaintance 
with slavery in various eountries, during the last ten years, may have 
qualified me to form some opinion of the relative evils or advantages of 
slavery in a Spanish colony. 

The first proposition — " That slavery has always had with the 
Spaniards a peculiar character of mildness," is one, that I have seen 
stated in books so often, and heard laid down so frequently by mer-^ 
ehants who have resided in Cuba; by naval offieers who have visited 
the shores and harbours of that island ; and by transient visitors who 
have made tours of pleasure or a winter journey, in pursuit of health 
from one large town on the eoast to another, and seen the interior 
eeonomy of one or two estates of opulent proprietors, what in our 
eoionies wonld be ealled " erack plantations," that I really feel asto- 
nished at the amount of error that prevails on this subjeet ; error so 
great, and held by men entitled to eredit, that I have sometimes felt 
absolutely doubtful of the evidence of my own senses ; and when the 
irresistible eonvietion of the exeessive rigour of slavery in Cuba has been 
foreed on my mind, and when I have dwelt on the appalling seenes I 
have witnessed, it often seemed hopeless to me, and even imprudent for 



216 

me to attempt to disabuse the public mind, aud to set my experience 
against the opinions of many people, whose sentiments on any other 
subject, I considered entitled to respect. But on a question of such vast 
importance, and where erroneous sentiments are calculated to do so 
much injury to the objects of the solicitude of anti-slavery exertion, it 
would be an act of cowardice to suppress the truth, or at least one's 
strong persuasion of it, in deference to error, however generally diffused 
or honestly adhered to, it may be. These erroneous couclusions, that 
Spanish slavery is of a peculiarly mild character, are arrived at by four 
ways of viewing this question ; they may be briefly stated as follows : — 

1 . It is concluded; because the laws for the governmeut of slaves in 
the Spanish colonies are mild, that these laws are execnted, and the 
slaves are happy. 

2. It is considered by some who visit the large sea-port towns, that 
the condition of the preedial slaves is similar to that of the domestic- 
servants ; and that because the latter are lazy, well fed, and decently 
clad, and lightly worked negroes, the poor field slaves are likewise idle 
and indulged, kindly treated, and contented slaves. 

3. The condition of slaves is judged of by men who have no imme- 
diate interest in slavery, but who have long resided in slave countries, 
or been on stations where opportunities of visiting these colonies have 
made them acquainted with the proprietors of estates, and in course of 
time, familiar with their views, then favourable to their interests, and 
at length accustomed to the evils of slavery, and insensible to the suffer- 
ings of its victims. 

4. The treatment of slaves, in general, in Cuba and elsewhere, is 
inquired into by transient visitors and tourists, at the tables of the 
planters, over the wine of the slave-holders, and where truth is 
drowned in hospitality, and the legitimate inquisitiveness of a stranger's 
curiosity, is merged in a courteons acquiescence with the sentiment, or 
at least the statements of a liberal entertainer, aud a gentlemanlike host. 

Now, of these different ways of coming to conclusions, it is evident, 
that it is to the first the signal error of the French Report is to be 
attributed. In fact, it seems admitted that the opinion of the mildness 
of Spanish slavery, is derived from the royal ordinances and laws made 
for the regulation of it. T freely grant that the spirit of these laws 
and ordinances is humane ; but the great question is, are such laws 
compatible with the interests of the slave-owners? Are they put in 



217 

execution ? Negro slavery, as it ever has existed in the West India 
colonies, bas been a condition in wbicb the profitableness to tbe master 
of unpaid labour, for the time being, bas always rendered the happi- 
ness of the labourer, a question of comparative unimportance. "What 
you should call humanity to the negro, there is not a proprietor in Cuba, 
who would not deem injustice to the planter. You cannot legislate 
partially, humanely, and yet efficiently, for any slave colony in a pros- 
perous condition ; you may pass measures of general effect for the total 
abolition of slavery, but you can carry none into execution for effec- 
tually modifying its nature, and leaving unpaid labour to be wrung 
out of its victims : while a show is made of surrounding its compulsion 
with humane arrangements, duly detailed in the royal cedulas, and 
set forth in legal books, with all the solemn mockery of Spanish law. 

This Report states, as a curious anomaly in the history of Spauish 
slaves, that while the Indians were treated by the Spaniards with such 
terrible cruelty, the negroes, it is well known, have always been treated 
with peculiar mildness. I need hardly remind you, that while the poor 
Indians were writhing under the lasb of the most unmitigated cruelty 
the world up to that period ever saw ; while tbe Spanish colonies were 
exterminating the whole race of their victims by the astounding rigour 
of their slavery, tbe Kings of Spain were dictating benevolent cedulas 
and humane ordinances for the treatment of tbe unfortunate slaves ; while 
the council of tbe Indies were continually framing laws for the better 
regulation of the " repartimientos," or distributions of the natives ; while 
the heads of the Spanish churcb, the mitred politicians of the day, half 
statesmen, half churchmen, were constantly sending out missions and 
commissions to co-operate with the illustrious apostle of the Indies, the 
protector of the slaves ; in fact, while all the machinery of tbe govern- 
ment that was four thousand miles off, was brought to bear on this 
question of the amelioration of slavery in the Spanish colonies, yet the 
Indians perished in tbe mines, they died under the lash, sunk under 
famine in caves, or sought in voluntary death a final refuge from 
Spanish cruelty. Yes, the whole race perished, while the Kings of Spain 
and its ministers, were framing laws impracticable, because they were 
partial measures of relief, for the preservation of their Indian subjects. 

Let me tell you, the same terrible system of cruelty is going on 
this day in the Spanish colonies ; the same terrible evils are silently in 
operation. Change the term Indians for Negroes, the word mines for 



218 

plantations, and in eyery other respect the same bloody tragedy is acting 
over again, the same frightful work of extermination, the same cruel 
mockery of staying the evil by laws without enforcement, by cedulas 
without a hope being entertained of their being carried into effect, are 
now practising in New Spain ; and the awful waste of human life, that 
in the time of the Indians, was for a limited period made up by the 
ravages of the inan-robbers on the coasts of the New World, has now 
for three centuries been filled up in Cuba alone, by an annual impor- 
tation that has now reached to the amount of 25,000 stolen men from 
the shores of Africa. 

If it be notorious, as this Report states, that negro slaves have 
always been treated with peculiar mildness in the Spanish colonies, 
it follows, that the slaves of the island of Cuba, for example, are a con- 
tented race, that therefore, they are not over-worked, nor under-fed, nor 
ill-clad; that the sexes are equalized, that the mortality is small, 
and the increase by births considerable ; that the amount of produce 
obtained by the labour of a given number of slaves, is less than it has 
been in former years in the British colonics ; that there is a considerable 
number of aged slaves on the estates ; that the pregnant women are 
allowed exemption from hard field-labour in the last six or eight weeks 
of their pregnancy, that the females are not usually flogged ; that the 
children arc instructed in the elements of the Christian faith ; that the 
negroes on the estates are married by the ministers of religion ; that 
they are suffered to attend a place of worship on the Sabbath-day ; that 
it is not lawful to hunt them down by dogs when they are fugitives 
from the estates ; that, when they are scourged to death, or killed by 
violence, the white man who is their murderer may be brought to 
justice, and punished with the utmost rigour of the law. But not one 
of these measures of justice, or means of protection for the prsedial 
slaves is known to exist in Cuba ; not a single one of these I have 
pointed out is to be looked for in the law, and yet the law allows these 
things, and solemnly condemns every withdrawal of them. But the 
law was never framed with any reasonable prospect of its being en- 
forced, it never has been euforced, and, what is more, it never can be 
enforced against the planters who are the transgressors of it ; because, 
in fact, these are the men who are entrusted with the execution of it. 

In the towns and cities, the case is indeed different with the domestic 
slaves, but what a small portion do these fomi of the number of slaves 



219 

in Cuba ? These domestic slaves, especially those of the opulent pro- 
prietors, comparing their eondition with that of the prsedial slaves, may 
be said to be fortunately circumstaneed. They have the power in the 
large towns and cities, of availing themselves of the privileges the law 
accords them. If they have a harsh owner, they may demand permis- 
sion to seek another master, and it is compulsory on that master to sell 
them, either for the sum he paid for them, or at such a rate as the sindico 
or the special protector of the slaves, and the judges may determine, in 
consideration of any reasonable increase in their value, or in consequence 
of their having been taught a trade or calling. 

But how is the prsedial slave to avail himself of these legal pri- 
vileges ? The officers of justice in the country towns are usually slave- 
holders themselves ; the estate may be ten, nay, even twenty miles distant 
from a town, the sindicos, the alcades, the capitanes de partidos, all are 
planters. The idea of a pnedia! slave going to the mayoral, or over- 
seer, and telling him he wants "a paper" — a permission for two or 
three days to seek another master (buscar-amo), — would be laughed at 
in Cuba ; the unfortunate negro who would make so daring an attempt 
to obtain his rights, would, in all probability, be flogged on the spot ; 
he dare not leave the estate to seek the sindico in any adjoining town; 
and no matter what injustice may be done him, were he to pass his mas- 
ter's gate, he would be subjected to punishment, " boca abajo," without 
appeal, as a fugitive; and if he still presumed to talk of the law, and to 
insist on being taken before a magistrate, to claim the privileges which 
that law gave him, he would then be treated with a degree of rigour 
" beyond the law," as an insolent and rebellious slave. But granting 
that he succeeded in getting to the sindico, the alcade, or the capitane 
de parti do, what chance of justice has an unfortunate slave in Cuba, 
against the powerful influence of a rich, and, perhaps, a titled owner ? 
The planter is the friend of the authorities of his district ; they dare not 
disoblige him ; and if they dared, they are at last to be gained over by a 
bribe, or got rid of by a remonstrance to the Govebnob, and a suitable 
present to the assessor of the Govebnob, who is one of the great law- 
officers of the Crown. How in the name of common sense is the law 
to be looked to in a Spanish colony for the mitigation of the evils of 
slavery, or the protection of the slave ? 

The excellence of the Spanish civil law is admitted by every one, yet 
the iniquity of Spanish tribunals, the corruption of Spanish judges, and 



the incomparable villany of Spanish lawyers, is proverbial in all the 
colonies of Spain. Justice is bought and sold in Cuba, with as much 
scandalous publicity, as the bozal slaves are bought and sold in the 
barracones. 

Is there a man in Cuba who had suffered wrong in property or in 
person, who would be mad enough to go for redress into a court of 
law, and expect to obtain it by trusting solely to the merits of his case ? 
How then, are we to expect from any code for the regulation of negro 
slavery, justice for the Creole who has not the means to buy the judge 1 
How are we to expect to restrain the cruelty, or to control the cupidity 
of men, who have the means to bribe the bench of every tribunal in the 
land to make " impregnos," as these solicitations are called, with the 
sous and servants, the cousins and the familiars of the judges in their 
cause? Is it, then, to cedulas and laws, to parchment justice, or to 
statute book benevolence, we are to look for that peculiar character of 
mildness, which your Report assures us, is the characteristic of slavery in 
Spanish colonies ? Surely, what we know of slavery in every country, 
where it has existed, should be sufficient to satisfy every enlightened 
person, that bondage is an evil that cannot be mitigated by any partial 
measures of reform, so as essentially to serve the slave, to improve the 
system, to humanize the master, and thus to benefit society at large. 

But in Cuba, it is not that I have heard or read of the atrocities 
of Spanish slavery; I saw them with my own eyes. I lived for a 
whole year at the Havana, before I could so far disembarrass myself of 
the merchant-planter influence of that place, (that deadening influence 
of slavery, which steals so imperceptibly over the feelings of strangers 
in the West Indies), as to form an opinion for myself, and to trust to 
my own senses alone, for a knowledge of the condition of the prasdial 
slaves. It was only when I visited estates, not as a guest of the pro- 
prietors, seeing through the eyes of my hospitable hosts, thinking as 
they thought, and believing as they saw fit to administer to my 
credulity the customary after dinner dose of the felicity of slaves ; it 
was only when I went alone, and unkuown, and unexpected on their 
estates, that the terrible atrocities of Spanish slavery astounded my 
senses. I have already said, and I repeat the words, so terrible were 
these atrocities, so murderous the system of slavery, so transcendent the 
evils I witnessed, over all I had ever heard or seen of the rigour of slavery 
elseichere, that at first I could hardly believe the evidence of my senses. 



Nay, I have known men of great intelligence, one in particular, whom 
it was of great consequence to have heen well-informed on this subject, 
and whom I myself accompanied over several estates in various parts of 
the country ; and here in Cuba, so terrible were the admissions made by 
the mayorals or overseers, on the estates we visited, that he could not 
believe he heard correctly the accounts that were given to us, even by 
the managers themselves, of the frightful rigour of the treatment they 
described. Till this gentleman (who is known to this Convention) and 
myself, made partially known at the Havana, the evils that had come 
to our knowledge, on the sugar estates especially, there were British 
and other foreign merchants in that city, who had resided there for years, 
who said they were utterly ignorant of these evils ; but Eke the framers 
' of this Eeport, having read certain laws for the protection of slaves, 
and seen certain cedulas for the nominal mitigation of the cruelties of 
slavery, they actually imagined that the laws were enforced, and the 
negroes happy and humanely treated. 

With respect to my own experience, it is not by particular instances 
of cruelty or oppression, the fact is to be established, that slavery in 
Cuba is more destructive to human life, more pernicious to society, 
degrading to the slave, and debasing to the master, more fatal to health 
and happiness, than in any other slave-holding country on the face of the 
habitable globe. Instances of cruelty enough, no doubt, have come to 
my knowledge of the murder of negroes, perpetrated with impunity ; 
of men literally scourged to death ; of women torn from their children, 
and separated from them ; of estates where an aged negro is not to be 
seen : where the females do not form a third part of the slave popula- 
tion; nay, of estates where there is not a single female ; of labour in the 
time of crop on the sugar properties being twenty continued hours, fre- 
quently for upwards of six months in the year, seldom or never under five, 
and of the general impression prevailing on this subject, and generally 
acted on by the proprietors, that four hours' sleep is sufficient for a slave. 
These cases, were I to bring them before you without a shadow 
of colouring to heighten the effect of the naked outline of so frightful 
a detail, I am persuaded, would cause you to marvel that such things 
could be in a Christian land, could occur in the present age, could be 
done by men who moved in society, who are tolerated in it, and bear 
the name and wear the garb of gentlemen ; by a people, in short, pro- 
fessing the religion of Christ, and daring to couple the sanctity of that 



name with rapine, murder, and the living death of slavery itself, which 
are carried on even in its name ; for the pnrpose, forsooth, of making 
Christians of African unbelievers. 

To understand thoroughly the suhject of the laws in the Spanish 
colonies for the protection of slaves, it is necessary to refer to a work, not 
easily to be met with, being only to be found in the hands of the syndics, 
which is entitled "Exposicion sobre el origen, utilidad, prerogativas, 
derecho, y deheres de los sindicos procuradores generales de los pueblos, 
por D. Jose Serapio Majorrietta ahogado de la real audiencia." This 
hook it is to be noted, is printed at Puerto Principe, in Cuba, by royal 
authority, hy command, and at the expense of the Eeal Audiencia, the 
highest law trihunal in the island ; and it is the legal guide of the 
syndics, or protectors of slaves, in the administration of justice between 
master and slave, over the whole .island, and by which they are honnd 
to act. The work hegins hy stating that the Supreme Court, in the 
year 1766, created the office of syndic ; every town was placed under 
the legal protection of one of these officers : its rights were to he 
defended by them; and in the words of the cedulas, " When there was 
any grave or important matter, it should he treated by them, joining 
themselves with some of the neighbours (juntandose con los vecinos) for 
the consideration of it." Now, here is a most important regulation for 
the due administration of justice; in fact, one giviug to the accused 
the advantages, to a certain extent, of a jury. 

And now let us see how the law authorities of Cuha, as represented 
in this work, interpret these words. The treatise in question says : — 
" These words are not to be understood in their literal sense ; this me- 
thod is contrary to the nature of our government ; and for this reason, 
so responsible is the post of a syndic, that he is appointed not by an 
open meeting (cahildo ahiorto) of the corporation ayuntamiento, but by 
the votes of the judicial body, or the regidores. Their duties in the 
rural districts are to watch over the order and maintenance of the puhlic 
markets, the prevention of monopolies in corn, meat, &c. ; inspecting the 
accounts of overseers, agents, &c. ; protecting the interests of proprietors 
of estates hefore the trihunals of the district, by all the legal privileges 
accorded them, even to the point of demanding the suspension of the 
royal laws, or ordinances, in which they may hurt or harm some private 
e porder pedir la suspeucion, do las cedulas y 
e dana a sigun particular). 



person," (hasta el punto d 
reales rescriptos, en qua s< 



223 

Behold the value of all the royal laws for the protection of slaves. 
The syndic, their protector, is likewise the legal defender of his master ; 
and the suspension of every law that is distasteful to the latter, it is in 
the power of this officer to demand of the higher tribunals of the law. 
In fact, the whole secret of the conduct of the Cuban Government, with 
respect to the fulfilment of the treaties with England, for the suppres- 
sion of the slave-trade, and the laws which enforce them, is here left 
out ; and the shameful duplicity of the Government of Spam, with re- 
spect to these royal orders, is disclosed, for at page 10, of the treatise in 
question, the opinion of the legal authorities of the island is laid down 
as to the proper mode of interpretation of the royal cedulas, when these 
are opposed to Creole interests, or supposed to be so, in these words : 
" It has been laid down by his Majesty, that his sovereign will is, 
(with respect to the laws) that they be obeyed and not fulfilled ;" aud 
reference is made to lib. 16, Nov. Recap, (come se tiene manifestado 
que su soberana voluntad, es que se obedezcan y nose cumplan). This 
seems to me to be the very acme, indeed, of public immorality ; and 
there is no reason to doubt the duplicity of the conduct here ascribed 
to his Spanish Majesty, and the weakness of his sovereign will, and 
that he frames laws for the purposes of delusion, to fihrow dust in the 
eyes of foreign powers, or to deceive bis own subjects at home, and 
which are to be obeyed and not executed. 

Now, with respect to the jurisdiction of the syndics in the case of 
slaves, and the mode of iuterpretiug the laws for their defence, this 
treatise lays down very minute rules, and points out a course of 
proceeding which is universally acted on in Cuba; for it is to be 
remembered this treatise is published with the express sanction and 
approbation of the judges of the highest tribunal of the land, of the 
real audiencia. " It is to be observed," says the author, " either the 
rights which slaves complain of being infringed, are violated by their 
masters, or a third person. In the last case, their complaint is to be 
preferred by their masters, by the general rules of right, which sub- 
ject them entirely to those who exercise dominion over them ; but if 
the slaves attempt to complain (intentan presentarse) against their 
masters, then comes the authority of the syndics, because by no other 
mode can there be made a true decision, there being no legitimate liti- 
gation of parties, which consists in this, that the plaintiff and the 
criminal should be different persons. But supposing this distinction to 



224 

be made in sueh a ease (as perhaps some one might say it ought to he), 
it appears the slave ought to have the right of naming an attorney or 
agent (personero), and the law, that so much proteets the natural de- 
fence of the slave, should leave in his power the exercise of this precious 
right. But how many inconveniences would not this measure eause ? 
In the first plaee, slaves have no proper person (los esdavos no tienen 
persona), they have no representation in society, they are considered as 
things subjeet to the dominion of man ; and ill could such beings name 
agents or attorneys, who eannot appear in their own eharacter in our 
courts. And yet, if abating the rigour of fixed principles, we chose to 
leave to slaves the free eleetion of which we treat, how many and how 
expensive would be the causes whieh would inundate our tribunals, 
and what would be the insubordination alone of this class of domesties, 
when unfortunately interested men are not wanting to derive the advan- 
tage of luere from sueh miserable discord. The syndies, however, as 
chosen by the corporation, should be adorned with all the fine qualities 
we have already stated, and in the degree that they may undertake 
to proteet the rights of these unfortunates, they will take eare to 
beware of eneouraging unjust eomplaints, by maintaining the slaves 
under due submission and respeet, which system is eertainly the most 
happy that ean be adopted, to eoneiliate the private interest of the 
slaves with those of the owners of them." 

Now the next interpretation of the royal law, or cedula of 1789, 
which at page 3, ordains the regulation of the daily labour of slaves, 
" so that it should begin and eonclude from sunrise to sunset ;" and, 
moreover, should leave them two hours of the intermediate time for 
their own use and benefit, is given in these terms ; terms indeed most 
worthy of your profound attention : — " But this is not observed, and 
neither the magistrates regulate the time of labour, nor do the slaves 
eease to serve their masters at all hours of the day ;" (Esto no se 
observa y ni las justitias, ni los esclavos dejan de servir a sus duenos en 
to das las Iwras del did). Well may the expounder of the sentiments 
of the royal tribunal of the audiencia of Cuba say, the laws are not 
observed, " the slaves cease not at all hours of the day to work for their 



But this seeond Daniel, this Cuban eommentator on Spanish law, 
rigidly indeed, as he stieks to the sense of the eolonial judges, tells but 
half the truth, when he says that " the slaves eease not to work for 



225 
their masters at all hours of the day ;" he should have said on the 
sugar estates, during the time of the crop, for upwards of six months in 
the year, at all hours of the night, with the exception of four for sleep. 
It did not suit the purpose of the royal audiencia, to startle the ears or 
astonish the weak minds of the people in the towns, with the frightful 
announcement, or the appalling statement, that the wretched negroes, in 
spite of the express terms of the royal law for the regulation of slam- 
labour, were worked to death on these estates, for twenty continuous 
hours, twelve in the field, and eight in the boiling-house or at the mill ; 
and that even on the coffee-estates, where the necessity for hard labour 
is so much less, it is a common practice, at certain times of the year, 
during the bright moonlight nights, to work the slaves at field-work 
for four or five hours by the " Clara de la luna," as it is called. But 
what are the sentiments of the royal audiencia, on the subject of the 
great privilege on paper conferred by the laws on the slave, in the 
power nominally given him of purchasing his freedom, or portions of it, 
by the payment at once, or at different periods, of the price his 
master paid for him? It is to be observed, that the payment of a part 
of this sum to the master, gives the negro the legal right of having 
that sum deducted from his price whenever he happens to be sold, and 
entitles him, as it is most erroneously but generally believed, to an imme- 
diate reduction of labour in proportion to the sum paid. 

In the year 1325, this error is fallen into in a very able statement, 
addressed to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, by one of the 
British Commissioners at the Havana, on the treatment of the 
Spanish slaves, and the mode of manumission in the Spanish colonies. 
And no doubt the origin of this error was the same as of that into 
which others have fallen, in common with all who estimate the value 
of Spanish laws by the wording, and not by the execution of them. The 
paying- of a sum of money to a master on the part of a slave towards 
the purchase of his liberty, renders the payer what is called " coartado," 
the meaning of which is, in part manumitted. The word is derived 
from coartar, to cut or separate, and not from quartear, to divide into 
four parts, as is commonly supposed.—" Some syndics," says the law 
treatise in question, " have attempted to alleviate slavery, so as to pre- 
tend to concede a half of their time to slaves who are bound in 
service to their masters," (when they have paid half of their value to 
their owners) ; " but this opinion is not in conformity with the law, 



and the syndics should respect the rights of the proprietary power, 
without allowing themselves to he led astray by a notion of equity 
badly understood. The coartacion (or part payment made to a master 
by a slave towards the attainment of freedom) was not established to 
reduce slavery into halves, but only to prevent any alteration in the " 
price to the slaves. A slave who, being worth 500 dollars, gives to his 
master 400 hy way of coartacion, remains as subject to servitude as 
any slave who is so entirely. The master cannot he deprived of the 
proper rights of his authority, and the slave is under the obligation of 
devoting all his service to him ; for such reasons the syndics ought to 
avoid the wish to establish such demands." Then comes the interpre- 
tation of the law of Cuba, as laid down in this treatise, on that most 
important privilege of all to the negroes in Spanish colonies, the power 
nominally given by the law to the slave who is ill-treated, or discon- 
tented with good cause with his master, to seek another owner, on pay- 
ment of the price at which he might be valued by the judicial autho- 
rities. Now hear the mouth-piece of the real audiencia of Cuba on 
this subject. 

" The question may also be asked, if slaves (coartados) have the 
right to go out of the power .of their masters whenever they desire ; and 
the answer is not difficult, if we consider that the slaves (enteros) 
entirely so, are obliged to allege some great reason to compel their masters 
to sell them. And what difference can there be between one and the 
other, when we see that the yoke of slavery on all is the same ? If 
the slaves (coartados) do not enjoy the rights of freemen, on what 
principle can they claim the right of changing masters at their plea- 
sure? Is it for some light correction ? This is not sufficient to enahle 
them to use this privilege. And, then, eould the masters exercise their 
authority with the due severity which is necessary? By no means: 
and hence we have seen that the real audiencia has always repelled 
similar demands, in all the suits that have heen promoted on this point 
and brought for their superior decision. But some persons desire 
notwithstanding, founding their opinion on the royal cedula of the 8th 
April, 1779,* that slaves (coartados) should be left in possession of the 
privilege in question. In answer to this, let us refer to the terms of 
the cedula. We declare, it says, that the masters of slaves (not coar- 



* In this cedula the precise duties of the syndic are laid dovn. 



227 
tados) have the liberty to sell them for whatsoever price they- agree on 
with the buyers aecording to their actual worth; that when masters, for 
just reasons, are obliged by the judicial authority to sell their slaves 
(those so entirely) it shall be for the price at which they shall be 
valued by those authorities ; but if the buyer wishes to take the slave 
without valuation, agreeing thereon with the master, they can arrange 
between them the price, and the authorities have no power to prevent 
it, although the master is eompelled to sell, except that in order to 
diminish the amount of the alcabala duty (or tax on the sale of pro- 
perty) some collusion between the parties be suspected; further, that 
slaves who are ' coartado,' or have paid that portion remaining of it, 
the same obligation being binding on the buyer, that in all cases the 
seller shall pay the alcabala tax according to the price paid; further, 
that if the slave ' coartado' by bad conduet give a reasonable motive' 
for selling him, however slight his crime, the addition to it be made of 
the alcabala tax on his sale ; and, finally, that no slaves of any kind, 
entire or coartados, who redeem themselves by their lawful earnings, 
ought to pay this tax. The masters shall be obliged, conformable to' 
the custom, to give them their, liberty the moment they bring the due 
price for it." 

Now to any ordinary capacity, the plain meaning of the terms of 
this beneficent law of 1779, is, that slaves have the power of demanding 
to be sold to another master, if another master- can be procured to pay 
the price fixed on by the judges to the actual owner. In fact, the slave 
by this means puts himself in the position of coartado, one who has 
the right to demand his freedom whenever a price has been agreed on, 
or fixed by judicial valuation ; and having procured a person to advance 
the money, he is content to have his liberty sold again, in consi- 
deration of the change of masters. But. mark the chicanery by which 
every practical utility of this benevolent law is frittered away by the 
interpretation of the judicial authorities of Cuba. The slave who 
would change owners is first called on to produee a reasonable cause 
for his applieation. He alleges severe punishment or harsh treat- 
ment, who is to decide whether the slave has been maltreated or 
not? The syndic. Who is the syndic ? A planter himself. And who 
is the master? The neighbour of the syndic. But what says the 
real audiencia exposition of the law for the regulation of the practice 
of these syndies ? Why, that the due severity of the discipline of the 
Q 2 



proprietary power towards the slaves, is not a sufficient cause for a 
slave's application to be sold; and that the only sufficient causes are 
insufficient nourishment, scarcity of clothing, and dearth of instruction 
in the Christian religion. Now what does the last obligation on the 
planters amount to in Cuba ? to the christening of the slave, and to 
the burial of him with the ordinary rights of the church. This is the 
whole amount in Cuba of religious instruction, save and except the 
teaching the newly-imported pagans to repeat, like parrots on cer- 
tain feasts, the Lord's Prayer, the confiteor, and the decades of the 
rosary; but as for having the slightest conception of the meaning of the 
words they repeat by rote, it would be a folly to expect it, for they are 
never instructed in religion by priest or layman, except cm the estate of 
(some rare phenomenon in Cuba) a pious planter, a scrupuloiis master, 
and a Christian man. 

• As to fte complaint of insufficiency of food, the syndic of course 
acts on the general opinion, that it is the interest of an owner to feed 
his slaves well, and to clothe them also, for the sate of the preserva- 
tion of their health and strength, This sounds well, and it passes for 
the truth with thousands of people, not only in Cuba but in England. 
This is an argument stated and re-stated hundreds of times, in answer 
to the ordinary charge of ill-treatment brought against slave-owners, 
namely, that it is the interest of a man to give good treatment to the 
beast (and "pari passu," -to the slave) he keeps for use, or sale, or hire. 
No doubt it is his duty, but is it his interest, according to his ideas, to 
do this? Is it the supposed interest of the owners of our own miser- 
able hacks, to treat the animal thus which he lets on hire or rides on 
daily, or rather, can you persuade the great body of horse-dealers it is 
their 'interest to do this? Unquestionably you cannot. They act on 
the principle that a quick return of the money outlaid on horse-flesh, 
no matter how great the wear and tear of the property that is worked 
or hired, is better than moderate work with small gain, and a longer 
use of the means from which that return is derived. Why, we might 
as well go to Connemara, or the shores of Leuce, and talk to Mr. 
Richabd B Mabtin's venerable ghost of the humanity of the treatment of 
the hackney-coach horse-owners in England, on the ground of their 
interests. That honest ghost, if ghosts in Ireland do speak, as they are 
said to do, would tell you that these persons deny it is their interest to 
spare their horses, and admit it is their interest to get the greatest 



■BHHHBMHM1 



possible quantity of work in the shortest space of time from their hacks, 
and when they arc worked off their legs, to purchase new ones. In fact, 
it is on this very principle the fast mail coaches are horsed and run. 

But I have heard it said, however they may work them, it surely is 
their interest to feed them well. To this I answer, the universal feeling 
of the tribe is this, their true interest is to keep them cheaply. True 
it is, if they gave them treble the quantity of good hard provender, 
they would last, perhaps, double the length of time, and do half as 
much more work ; but you cannot persuade these men you understand 
their interests better than they do; you may, indeed, easily persuade the 
owner of a stud of race-horses of the soundness of your opinion, but 
the high-blooded racers that belong, in England, to gentlemen on the 
turf, in proportion to the hacks and stage horses, are about in the same 
ratio, as the slaves in Cuba, belonging to intelligent, considerate, humane 
proprietors, are to the wretched negroes in the hands of unthinking, 
unprincipled, and grasping owners. But what says the Creole ex- 
pounder of the Spanish law on the subject of the most important 
privilege conferred on the slaves. " We believe," he says, " that a 
slave not having undergone bad treatment on the part of his owner, 
having administered to him, food, clothing, and religious instruction, 
he cannot compel his master to sell him to another." So much for the 
benefit of the parchment privileges of the slaves in Cuba. 

And now for their moral condition, and the administration of the 
laws affecting it, on the high authority of the work, published with 
the sanction, and at the expense of the real audiencia of Cuba. " As 
amongst the Romans," says the author, " there could be no marriage 
solemnized except among citizens, the union of the slaves was accom- 
plished by concubinage, and the children followed the condition of the 
mother ; our district law has adopted the same system (nuestra ley de 
partida ha adoptad,o la misma disposicion) and when recently coartacion 
was established, the question was discussed ; if the infant of a slave 
coartado should enjoy the same privilege as the mother, but the doubt has 
ceased, since the publication of the royal cedula of the 10th of February, 
1789, in which we find the point in question definitely settled." 

There can be no doubt of the express meaning of the royal law on 
this subject being what it is described, and there is unfortunately, no 
doubt that the slaves of Cuba have none of the rights of citizens, that 
they arc not suffered to marry, and that a general system of concu-. 



binage is that which the Christian law of the partida sanctions in Cuba ? 
and to which it condemns nearly half-a-million of human heings. 
Here I take leave of the Cuban exposition of the Spanish laws for the 
amelioration of slavery. No one can dispute the authority of the 
treatise I have referred to, for the express sanction of the real audieneia 
is prefixed to it. It is .with no little difficulty I procured a copy of 
that work, for I ham already stated it is not allowed to fall into the 
hands of strangers. 

I now proceed to show the extraordinary delusion which has been 
practised, not only on foreigners who have visited the Spanish colonies, 
hut even sought to he practised on our government, and on the agents 
of it. It is no wonder, indeed, if the world has heen imposed on by 
the specious benevolence of the Spanish laws, that have never been 
earned into execution, or are capahle of enforcement in any country 
where slavery exists, and where the interests arising from it are pros- 
perous. And, if the only result of the years of turmoil and painful 
inquiry I have passed through in the West Indies, were productive of 
no other advantage than the experience which enables me to address 
these ohservations to you, I would fain hope that I have made the best 
use of my time, and the opportunities afforded me by my position, that 
it was possible for me to make, in enabling me to disabuse the minds 
of men, of an opinion so erroneously entertained, that slavery in the 
Spanish colonies is mild in its character, and that the fact of its lenity 
is to be established by the laws and ordinances of the Sovereigns 
of Spain. But on this suhject I must briefly refer to another source 
of information. 

In the year 1824, Mr. Secret aby Canning addressed a despatch to 
the Chief Commissioner at the Havana, desiring to be furnished with 
information on the suhject of the manumission of slaves in the Spanish 
colonies, and enclosing a memorandum which had been presented to our 
government, at that period, when the question of gradual emancipation 
in our colonics was forcing itself on the attention of ministers. The 
document enclosed is in the following terms :— 

" That slaves, (namely, those in the Spanish colonies) are generally 
appraised at four hundred dollars ; that a slave paying down the fourth 
part of his value, or one hundred dollars, immediately acquires a right 
to be coartado, that is, that he can work out, paying his master three 
reals de vellon or bits a day, until he can make a further deposit; or, 



231 

if the master require his service, he can oblige the man to work for 
him, paying the slave one real : thus a deposit of two hundred dollars 
gives the slave a right to two reals daily ; of three hundred, three reals, 
and thus till the completion of the payment of the whole sum in which 
he had been appraised." A dollar is worth eight reals or bits. — (Vide 
Slave-Trade Reports, 1824-25, Class A. page 63). 

In the first place, the common error with respect to the meaning of 
the term of coartacion, which I have already referred to, is pointed out 
in the reference made to the question of paying down one-fourth part 
of the value of the slave. The next error is in the statement, that a 
slave coartado has the right to work out, or to leave his master's service, 
paying him wages in a certain proportion to the sum still due for his 
liberty, the law treatise I have so largely quoted explicitly denying that 
the slave has any such right 'against the consent of his master. The 
next error is, that there is any law which compels the master to pay 
wages in any proportion to whatever sum the slave may have paid in 
part liquidation of the price of freedom. 

The Chief Commissioner replied to Mr. Canning's inquiry, October 
9, 1824, stating, that he had consulted the most able lawyers and 
government authorities on the subject of manumission, and encloses a 
memorandum, a most valuable paper, though by no meaus to be consi- 
dered as practically applicable to the attainable privileges of prjedial 
slaves, and that distinction is not sufficiently drawn in the document, 
but only slightly, and very slightly, alluded to at the end of the memo- 
randum. Nevertheless, the extent and accuracy of information, which 
it is so difficult to procure on this subject, is surprising to me ; and in 
referring to it, I have only to entreat attention to this point, that the 
information has reference to what the laws decree, and not to the prac- 
tical working of them ; and when it refers to the latter, the experience 
adduced is eutirely of their execution in towns and cities, and especially 
at the' seat of government, the Havana. 

Mr. Kilbbe, the Commissioner, informs Mr. Canning, that he has 
been wrongly informed, that slaves are valued at any fixed price for 
" coartacion ;" that he has known one sell for 1000 dollars, but that the 
tribunals discountenance excessive valuation ; that the average valuation 
of full-grown negroes on estates, is 500 dollars ; that house-slaves are 
valued at six, and mechanics at still higher prices ; that the statement 
is ineorrect in asserting, " if the master require the service of his coar- 



iado slave, he can oblige the man to work, paying the slave a certain 
sum," the fact being, that in. all cases, the master is entitled to the 
service of his slave, whether coartado or not, without any remuneration 
whatever. That the wages of a common field labourer is about four 
reals a day, (there being eight reals " de plata," and twenty reals, " de 
vellon," to the dollar, the writer of the memorandum previously 
referred to, having confounded these), and, moreover, that the negro is 
fed and clothed ; and that as mechanics earn from a dollar and a quarter 
to three dollars a day, consequently, a coartado slave, who works out, 
is able to pay his master the daily quota proportioned to his price, and 
to lay by something towards the further attainment of his liberty. 
That the regulations for ameliorating the condition of slaves arc founded 
principally on custom which has acquired the force of law, many of 
which are confirmed by royal decrees. 

That when a slave applies to purchase his liberty, the master is not 
allowed to fix an arbitrary price ; but if he and the slave cannot agree 
upon it, two appraisers are named, one by the master, and another by 
the syndic, on the part of the slave, and if they differ, the judge names 
an umpire ; and in these cases, the slave is exempt from the payment of 
the alcabala duty, which is six per cent, on the sale of slaves sold in 
venta real or by public auction. That a master will be compelled to 
sell a slave, if a purchaser is found to engage to emancipate the slave at 
the end of any reasonable time ; that ill usage justifies an application 
for change of masters ; that a slave once emancipated, cannot again be 
reduced to slavery; that the master having once given an " escritura de 
coartacion," binds himself never to demand more than a stipulated sum, 
though it is less than the actual valne, it has no relation whatever to the 
actual price originally paid for him ; that the coartado slave, when his 
master allows him to work out on hire, is only bound to pay his master 
one real a day for every hundred dollars in which he is coartado : thus 
if his appraised price was four hundred dollars, and he had paid one hun- 
dred towards his liberty, he would only have to pay three reals a day 
to his master ; that a pregnant negress may emancipate her child even 
when in the womb, at the fixed price of twenty-five dollars, and from 
the time of its birth, till it be baptised, for fifty dollars ; that the system 
respecting the manumission of slaves, although in the country parts 
where there are few magistrates, there may be, and undoubtedly there 
are, many abuses, yet in the Havana, and other large towns, and in 



233 

other populous districts, it is efficiently observed ; and lastly, on the 
authority of this able statement of Mr. Kilbee, the slave- population of 
the island of Cuba, in the year 1824, was 250,000 ; the free-people of 
colour, 115,000 ; aud the whites, 290,000. 

I have attempted to show you, that the system of manumission, and 
the regulations in force for ameliorating the condition of the slave in the 
Spanish' colonies, honourable as these are to the apparent intentions of 
the Spanish government, are of little real benefit to the prsedial slaves, 
that is, to the great body of the slave-population in these colonies. 
There are exceptions ; there are instances, where slavery has not rendered 
masters heedless of all laws human and divine, even where their 
pecuniary interests arc concerned, but these are few on the estates. 
There are instances, where the owners are persons of high rant, and 
wealth, and standing in society — noblemen, like the Count Feknandina, 
and a few others of his order, where the rights and privileges of the 
slaves are in some degree respected. These meu, however, live not on 
their properties, and it is only to their occasional visits, the slaves on 
their properties have to loot for justice. It is, as I have said before, in 
the large towns alone, and for the non-prgsdial slaves, that the privileges 
in question can be said to he available, and where manumission can be 
hoped for, the means acquired of obtaining it, and the opportunity 
given of applying for it, and for the partial redress of any wrong 
suffered by a slave. The murder of a slave by a white mau, in no case 
whatever, is punished with death. During my residence in Cuba, some 
of the most atrocious murders that I ever heard of, came to my own 
immediate knowledge, the murders of slaves by their masters or 
mayorals, and r.ot in any one instance was the murderer punished, 
except by imprisonment, or the payment of costs of suit. 

During General Tacon's administration of the government in the 
part of the year 1837, in the village of Guauabacoa, a league from the 
Havana, where I was then residing, the murder of a slave was per- 
petrated by his master, a well-known lawyer of the Havana, whose 
name I consider it my duty to make known, and as far as lies in 
my power to expose it to the infamy of a notoriety, which it is not in 
the power of the shackled press of Cuba to give, but which I have 
reason to believe, the press of Spain will give to these disclosures ; 
so that the reprobation of his countrymen will reach this gentleman, 
whom the laws he outraged were unable to reach or punish. The name 



234 

of the murderer is Manchado, and he moves without reproaeh in the 
goodly eireles of genteel soeiety at Havana: iu that soeiety where 
the capitalist, who has aequired his riehes in the abominable slave- 
trade, by the espeeial favour of his Sovereign, bears the title of 
" Excellentissimo ,•" where the prosperous dealer in human flesh now 
retired from the trade, is a noble of the land ; where the foreign mer- 
chant, who still pursues the profitable traffic on the eoast, is the boon 
companion of the eommercial magnates of the plaee ; and where the 
agents of foreign governments themselves are hailed as the private pro- 
teetors, and avowed well-wishers of the interests of the trade. The 
murdered slave of the lawyer Manchado, was suspected of stealiug 
some plated ornaments belonging to the harness of his master ; the mau 
denied the charge ; the eustomary proeess in such matters, to extort a 
confession from a suspected slave, was had recourse to. He was put 
down and flogged in the preseuee of his master. The flogging, it 
appeared by the sworn testimony of the witnesses who were present, 
given before the Commandant of Guauabaeoa, a Colonel in the army, 
a gentleman of the highest eharaeter, eommenced at three o'clock, it 
ceased at six, the man having literally died under the lash ; a little 
time before the man expired, he had strength enough left to cry out, he 
would confess if they would flog no more. The master immediately 
sent for the Commissary of Police to reeeive his confession ; this offieer 
came, and stooping down to speak to the man, he found him motion- 
less; he said, the man had fainted. The brutal master kieked the 
lifeless body, saying, " the dog was in no faint, he was shamming." 
The Commissary stooped down again, examined the body, and replied, 
" the man is dead." The master hereupon ealled in two physicians of 
Guauabaeoa, and rightly eounting on the sympathies of liis professional 
attendants, he obtained a medieal eertifieate, solemnly deelaring that 
the negro had laboured under hernia, and had died of that disease. In 
the mean time the atroeity had reaehed the ears of the Captatn- 
General Tacon, the aleadis of Guauabaeoa were ordered to inquire 
into the matter ; they did so, and the result of the inquiry was, of 
eourse, the exeulpation of the murderer. General Tacon, dissatisfied 
with the deeision, immediately ordered the military officer commanding 
at Guauabaeoa to proeeed to a solemn investigation, de novo, without 
referenee to the decision of the eivil authorities, and this gentleman, 
with whom I was well acquainted, proeeeded with all the energy and 



integrity belonging to Mm, to the inquiry. The result of this inquiry 
was an able report, wherein the Commandant declared that the tes- 
timony adduced, plainly proved that the negro had died under the 
lash in presence of his master, in consequence of the severity of the 
punishment he received during three hours. I have entered at large 
into this case, because I speak from actual knowledge of the judicial 
proceedings, and from the authority of the judge in the cause. Now, 
what was the result in this case. Why, in due time, the Captain- 
General communicates to the Commandant the law opinion of the 
assessor or legal adviser of his administration, to the effect, that the 
report was evidently erroneous ; inasmuch as the Commandant had 
examined negro witnesses on the investigation, when their masters 
were not present, which was illegal, and consequently all the proceed- 
ings were vitiated. In plain English, the murderer was acquitted, 
and the upright officer who declared him guilty was rebuked ; nay 
more, he was ultimately removed from his post at Guauabacoa. The 
folly of talking about illegality in the proceedings is evident, when it 
is considered that the setting aside the civil authorities, and putting the 
cause in the hands of the military tribunal, was a course obviously 
illegal, but rendered necessary in the mind of the Governor by the base 
corruption of the civil tribunal, and the iniquity of its decision. On 
inquiry into the amount of money paid by Manchado in the way of 
bribes to obtain the decision in his favour, and the cost of suit, I found 
that the expenses amounted to 4000 dollars. 

The next case I have to direct your attention to, has been given to 
the world in the recent admirable work of Mr. Turnbull on Cuba, a 
work which it required more honest and closer observation, and a higher 
spirit of humanity to produce, than any work on the West Indies that 
has been given to the public. I happened to be with Mr. Turnbull, 
on the journey of which he speaks in reference to this case, when a 
person who accompanied us on our return from a sugar estate, in the 
vicinity of Guines, informed us that the estate in question was the 
terror of all the negroes in the vicinity. Of this fact, what we had 
ourselves witnessed of the management of the property, and what we 
had heard from the mayoral himself, left but little cause to doubt ; 
but it was not without surprise we learnt, that this very overseer, who 
was still left in charge of the estate, had recently been brought before 
the authorities of Guines, on the charge of flogging one of the slaves 



of the estate to death, and. that the result of this investigation was 
similar to that of the case at Guauahacoa. The body of the murdered 
slave was examined by medical men, and the usual certificate was given 
in all due form, satisfactorily accounting for the death of the negro, 
and in the eye of the law of Cuba, the slave that was murdered by a 
white man, and expired under the lash of legitimate authorit}', died a 
natural death. The wretch who committed this act left the Court, 
of course, without a blemish on his character; and the employer 
of this man took him back into his service, to the terror of every 
negro on his estate. This respectable planter was living at ease fifty 
miles distant from the scene, where the blood of his murdered negro was 
shed with impunity, enjoying the pleasures of the Havana, and,, per- 
haps, by the urbanity of his manners, and the hospitality of his house, 
and the indulgent treatment of his domestic slaves, convincing the 
passing tourist, who was fortunate enough to be his guest, of " the 
peculiar mildness of slavery in the Spanish colonies." 

The next case — I know these horrors are painful to be listened to — 
but it is a sickly sensibility which refuses to hear details, however 
shocking to humanity, that must be told by those who have the 
misfortune to be acquainted with them, or the wrongs they treat of 
cannot be redressed. The next case of negro murder committed by a 
mayoral, of which I have to speak, came to my knowledge in the 
autumn of 1839. I was travelling in the vicinity of Matanzas, accom- 
panied by a gentleman who resided in that district. I was informed 
by my companion, that he had just received very unpleasant intelligence 
of an acquaintance of his, a mayoral of an estate on the Pan of 
Matanzas, who had unfortunately flogged a worthless negro, and the 
worthless negro had unfortunately died, and the soldiers had just been 
sent down to arrest the mayoral, and they did not find him.. The mis- 
fortune of the mayoral touched me, indeed, less than the murder of the 
slave ; but if my sympathies had been ever so strongly directed to the 
inconvenience the mayoral had been put to by his flight, I might have 
been comforted by the assurance that he had only to keep out of the 
way for some time, and the thing would pass over ; or, if he were taken, 
at the worst, he had only to suffer in purse, and, perhaps, in person, by 
imprisonment for some time, if he was a poor and friendless mayoral. 
This was only another vacancy in the negro gang to be filled up by the 
purchase of a new bozal ; another life, taken away under the- lash, to be 



237 
added to the list of Cuban crimes ; another item in the long account 
that slavery has to settle with a just God. I know it is painful to dwell 
on these topics, but the report I have alluded to, has proved how 
necessary it is to enter on them most fully ; and to show how greatly 
people have been deceived with respect to the subject of slavery in the 
Spanish colonies. 

The last ease of murder perpetrated on a slave by a white person, to 
which I will refer, took place at the Havana in the last year. This 
crime was committed by an American woman on a poor negro girl, 
under such horrible circumstances of cold-blooded cruelty, that I doubt 
if there is any parallel to be found to it in the records of crime in Cuba. 
The girl that was murdered belonged to a Spaniard of the Havana, 
who was the paramour of the American. This woman was possessed of 
property to a considerable amount. She had been long resident in 
Havana, and was somewhat remarkable for her personal attractions. 
Her friend, the Spaniard, had sent to her house one of his slaves to 
assist her, and this girl became, it is supposed, the victim of her jealousy ; 
for no other adequate reason has been assigned for the cruelties prac- 
tised on her. The cries of the unfortunate girl had been heard in the 
adjoining houses ; at length the usual screams were heard no longer, 
but night after night the sounds of continued moaning were noticed by 
the neighbours, and at length they gave information of the matter to 
the police. The Commissary of Police proceeded to the house of the 
American lady. On searching the outhouses in the yard, in one of 
these offices, converted into a dungeon, they found a dying negro girl 
chained by the middle to the wall, in a state that shocked the senses of 
all who were present, so loathsome and withal so pitiful an object, as 
the persons who discovered this unfortunate girl never beheld. On 
releasing her from this dreadful dungeon, where she had been, she could 
not tell how long, it was found that the chain round her body had eaten 
into the flesh, and the ulcers in it were in a state of gangrene. She 
was taken to the hospital, and she died there in two or three days' time. 
If T have added one iota to the truth, or exaggerated a single point in 
the statement I have given, I am content that every fact I have stated 
should be disbelieved ; but in truth, the horrors of the place, and the 
wretchedness of the condition in which she was found, arc understated ; 
in fact, they could not be described. The monster who committed this 
murder, when I left the Havana, in October last, was alive and well ; 



238 

in prison indeed, but in one of the halls of distinction, (salas de distine- 
tion), where the prisoner who has money, no matter what his crime, 
may always obtain superior accommodation. She was visited frequently 
by persons of my acquaintance. She did not admit that she had com- 
mitted any crime ; and she had no fear for the result of the process that 
was going on, except on the score of its expense. She looked on her 
imprisonment as a conspiracy only of the Spanish lawyers to get money 
from her, because they knew she was rich ; and in this she probably 
was not mueh mistaken. The Tenibnte Gobebnabdob, one of the 
principal officers of state, was in the habit of visiting her in prison, and 
encouraging her with the assurance that her suit would speedily be 
terminated, and that she had nothing worse than banishment to fear. 
A lawyer of the name of Garcia had defended her some short time 
before her committal on the present charge, in another case of cruelty 
practised by her on a slave ; and he publicly boasted that if she had 
come forward in the present case with a sufficient sum, he would have 
brought her through her present difficulty without, any more inconve- 
nience than in the former instance. Such is the administration of 
justice in the island of Cuba, and the execution of those laws which 
are thought so mild in their character, and benevolent in their principles, 
that the slave who lives under them is protected from injustice, and in 
consequence of their excellence the negroes in Spanish colonies are 
comparatively happy. 

It was said by the late Mr. Canning, that all laws for the partial 
amelioration of the condition of slaves were necessarily defective, 
because such laws had no executive principle, inasmuch as the persons 
who were expected to carry them into operation were interested in 
defeating them. My experience entirely bears out the assertion of Mr. 
Canning ; and both, I am sorry to say, are at variance with that part 
of the report to which I have referred, and with the common opinion 
of the humanity of the system of Spanish slavery, entertained even by 
well informed persons in this country. 

In concluding this subject, I would earnestly desire to impress 
these facts on the minds of all who are interested in the question of 
negro emancipation ; that the abolition of slavery in our colonies, has 
given great advantages to those colonies where slavery exists. And 
that it* is in vain to expect a beneficial result from our efforts, while 
slavery flourishes in Cuba and the Brazils, and leans on the sympathy 



connected with a 
allude to it. When I was last in New 
ers, built at Baltimore, which had been 
r ere owned by American subjects, and 
fraudulent purpose of changing their 
The captor is in this 



and support of countries like America and the colonies of France, whose 
interests are identified with theirs. 

Dr. Madden closed by saying 

Before I resume my seat, the presence of a gentler 
deeply interesting event induces me t> 
York, I found there two American sis 
captured by a British cruizer. They 
had been sent to the Havana for th 
papers and giving the 

room, and I think it desirable that he should so fix the fact 
to put it out of their power to deny it. He is the first man \ 
to go out of the routine of duty, seize vessels hoisting the American flag, 
and cany them into an American port. I thiuk he should receive some marks 
of your approbation. 

Lieutenant FITZGERALD, R.N. (late Commander of H.M.B. Buzzards- 
Very little remains for me to state on this subject ; but with the permission 
of the Convention, I will briefly state the circumstances which led to the 
detention of these American vessels. In January last, I arrived off a port 
of the African coast in the ship I commanded, about two o'clock in the 
morning. I sent my boats to board all the vessels lying in the roads, and 
among others was the American brig Eagle. The officer perceived that 
everythiug counected with the equipment was so suspicious, that he remained 
on board the vessel for the night. I went on board the following morning, 
and although confideut that she was intended for a slave cargo, yet knowing 
the tenacity of the American government on the right of search by 
British cruizers, I forebore for the time detaining the vessel. Another 
officer seeing the- vessel seized her, and sent her to Sierra Leoue, but the 
Mixed Court refused to condemn her, the Captain persistiug that she 
was a i-egular trader. The officer still refused to give her up, and came to 
me, being the first senior officer he had met at Fernando Po. I then stated 
my determination to send the vessel to New York, where the subject would 
be investigated, and the Captain, if guilty, would in all probability be hung. I 
went on board, and stated that I should send an increased force to convey 
her to America. The Captain then said that it was in vain to hold out longer ; 
that she was a Spanish vessel ; that he was an American ; and that he had 
hoped to preveut her detention by British cruizers, by displaying the Ameri- 
can flag. I immediately put an officer of my own ou board. I knew that there 
was a similar vessel in the Niger, and going there, I sent out my boats. 
She was armed with six-pounders, loaded up to the muzzle. I declared that 
if one Englishman was hurt, not a Spaniard should be left to tell the story. 
Fortunately the Spaniards were in a state of debility from fever, and the 
mate was absent, otherwise they would in all probability have fired upon the 
boats, and then every one of them would have beeu killed. We took pos- 
session of the vessel, and the American Captain threatened to complain to 
his government, alleging that the capture of the vessel would lead to a war 
between the two countries. I adhered to my purpose, aud when the Captain 
came on board he nearly fainted. He then surrendered the vessel, and added, 
that a week later there would have beeu 350 slaves on board. She was a 
ninety tons vessel, but measured only thirty-eight tons British. Between 
decks, as measured by myself, the distauce allowed for 350 individuals was 



240 

but two feet six inches. In corroboration of the horrors attendant on this 
traffic, I may state, that this very American Captain told me, that on a pre- 
vious voyage eight or ten of the negroes were so dehilitated when hrought 
down to the ship, that the Spanish supercargo saw that there was no proba- 
bility of their reaching their destination, and they were shot at the barra- 
coon like so many mad dogs. On taking these vessels to New York, I must 
state in justice to the authorities, that on making an affidavit before the 
Attorney-General, a warrant was issued for the arrest of the American Cap- 
tains, but one of them was so ill that he died in sixteen hours, the other was 
committed to prison ; but in a few days he found the necessary hail and was 
liberated. I was detained from three to four mouths, the usual period occu- 
pied in the process of the law ; and when the time for the trial arrived, the 
Attorney-General iuformed me, that the Captain had requested a post- 
ponement of his trial, in consequence of the death of his mother, and it 
had been granted him. The only observation I made was, that American 
courts were much more obliging to prisoners, than English courts. I could 
not remain longer, and my evidence was taken on commission. What has 
been the result I caunot say. There are noble-hearted aholitioniste in Ame- 
rica from whom I received every kindness ; hut of course the very reverse 
from slave-traders. One threateued to commence proceedings against me 
which occasioned me some anxiety, uot knowing what might he the result ; 
hut I am happy to say, that within the last three weeks the Admiralty have 
sent out orders to defend me. I must also do justice, to the chief magistrate 
of America by stating, that when I pointed out to him the abuses which 



honour for the 

[ such iuhuman 

two governments 

iffic ; and that an 

occurrence which 

British o: 



took place under the American flag, that I had 

time being, and that I would never allow it to 1 

traffic, he expressed his obligations to me, adding that 

could have hut one feeling, that of detestation of such 

American man-of-war would have been sent out, hut for 

had taken place. Two have since been sent, and some 

surrendered vessels to them, hefore I left, which I was compelled t< 

consequence of ill health. 

Mr. JOSEPH STURGE.— I wish to he allowed to state that our excellent 
friend Dr. Madden, who has introduced this very valuable document to the 
Convention, has, during the last three years held the office of protector of libe- 
rated Africans at the Havana, and has the prospect of speedily resuming his 
post. Yet he has uohly come forward and stated these facts hefore the 
British public. There cannot be a stronger proof of his devoteduess to our 
cause. I wish also briefly to allude to the statemeut made by our friend who 
has just resumed his seat, and who has given us some very interesting infor- 
mation. While we feci charity for the views of those who differ from us, it 
must be recollected that this Convention is based upon the principle, that we 
are confined to moral, religious, and pacific means in carrying out our object ; 
and the word " pacific," prohibits us from either directly or indirectly sanc- 
tioning a resort to arms even against the slave-trader while he holds his 
victim in his hands. I wish to state this strongly and distinctly, while at 
the same time entertaining the greatest respect for those who differ from me 
in opinion ; especially when gentlemen endeavour to discharge their appre- 
hended duty in the noble way in which our friend has done ; and I hope 
he will not consider that I treat him with disrespect, when I state that, as a 
Convention, we are bound to the pacific principle. 



Bev. JOHN KENNEDY, (of Aberdeen).— Sir, I have been desired to move- 
That Dr. Madden be requested to place Ms statement in the hands 
of a Committee, for its translation into the Spanish language, in order 
to promote its circulation. 

The Convention has been deeply interested iu the statements we have just 
heard. In listening to these statements, I have no doubt that many minds 
reverted, as my own did, to the circumstances in which the anti-slavery com- 
munity was placed a few years ago, when our much esteemed aud highly 
honoured friend, Mr. Joseph Sturge, and his noble eoadjutors laid bare the 
atroeitics of the apprenticeship in the West Indies, Dr. Madden is pioneering 
the way for the ultimate abolition of slavery in the Spanish Colonies, just as 
Mr. Sturge aud others did for the abolition of the apprenticeship in our 
West India islands. Our friends had in this country, it is true, a very dif- 
ferent substratum of feeling and principle, on which to work, from that whieh 
Dr. Madden will have to work upon in Spain. While we would say nothing 
offensive to Spanish feeling, and make no comparison that could be eonsidered 
out of order, even in a meeting which is not British, but universal, we eannot 
hide this fact from ourselves. Still there remains in human nature, without 
national distinctions, fallen and degraded as it is, so many fragments of the 
principle of right and wrong, that the statement we have heard eannot be 
read without a blush of shame, even by the perpetrators of the cruelties- 
detailed. I have little doubt that that statement going out with the 
imprimatur and moral influence of this assembly, and made public in the 
metropolis of the British empire, will eause those who live in honour and 
respect in Cuba, to feel themselves dishonoured and disgraced iu every part 
of the civilized world. I do entertain very sanguine expectations that great 
beuefit will result from the publication of the doeument before us, in the 
Spanish language. It will likewise re-assure the anti-slavery eommunity in 
this country, that slavery is essentially the same in every part of the globe: 
It will teaeh them, that, bolster up the system as you may, aseribe to it all the 
false charms which can be thrown around it, slavery is still slavery, oppression 
is still oppression, degradation is still degradation, all the world over. If wc 
required anything like argument to urge us to the adoption of a sentiment 
whieh was well put in the able and logical Essay of Mr. Godwin, namely, 
that the way to treat slavery is not to mitigate, but to aunihilate it, that 
argument has been furnished this day. We have found, that while humanity 
ean write its dictates of mercy on paper and parchment, the spirit of wanton 
oppression can infliet wounds and cruelties, almost unheard of, on the very 
objects of its solicitude and care. We have fouud, that while meu living at 
least on the borders of civilization, have felt themselves constrained to send 
across the Atlantic, something like right principles and right laws -. these 
principles and laws have been utterly inoperative and useless, just beeausc 
there were no bosoms to entertain them, and no hands to work them out. 
This only corresponds with all our previous experience. Bight laws have no 
power of their own ; and where there is no exeeutive principle, where the 
whole feeling of society is opposed to them, and there is uo external power to 
enforce them, they ean never be any thing else tha'u a dead letter. I have 
much pleasure in submitting this motion to the meeting. 
WILLIAM FOBSTEB,, Esq., (of Norwieh), seconded the motion. 



THOMAS FOWELL BUXTON, Esq.— I certainly, from my long know- 
ledge of Dr. Madden, and the great respect which I entertain for that gentle- 
man, should immediately have risen to second the resolution which has just 
been proposed, if I had not understood that he, in my absence, had expressed 
some difference of opinion with me as to the extent of the slave-trade in 
Cuba, and that the same had been done by Mr. Tuiurarat. I am not prepared 
to state my own views on the subject ; the calculation rests on documentary 
evidence, and not being aware that the slave-trade would be this day intro- 
duced, I did not bring those documents to the meeting. I shall, however, take 
an early opportunity of laying my views before the public* I say no more 
with regard to the statements which have been put forth by these most 
respectable o-entlemen ; with one of whom, I am proud to say, that for many, 
many years, I have most cordially acted, I mean Dr. Madden. I am sure 
that every thing he states he conscientiously believes ; and I have no reason 
to doubt that the same maybe said of Mr. Tuhsbuli,. At the same time 
Dr. Madden's opinions, Mr. Trnimnu's opinions, and my own, mnst all be 
tested by the evidence of facts. I will adduce the very facts which are 
stated by Mr. Tuhnbull, and give yon an arithmetical demonstration 
that I am right. I had great doubts and hesitation as to whether I 
should make my views known ; I think we all ought to be engaged in attack- 
ing the common foe, and I, therefore, felt reluctant that the common friends 
of the cause should occupy any portion of their time and zeal in disputing 
among each other. I approved of Mr. Tuunbcll's work generally, though 
I regretted some observations in it. I was disposed to let the matter drop, 
but placed as it is before this meeting, I have no alternative but to give, m 
the most friendly spirit, the facts and calculations on which my statement 
rests. I have already declared, that I was not aware the subject of the 
slave-trade was to be discussed to-day. I ought, perhaps, to be ashamed that 
I was not cognizant of this fact. Had I regularly attended the meetings of 
the Couvention, it would have been notorious to me ; but I hope no one will 
suppose that my absence has been occasioned by any indifference to the 
objects you have in view. If I had had the command of my own time, there 
is no employment which would have been more gratifying to me, thau to feast 
upon that mass of instruction and information which has been brought before 
you. Gentlemen, however, are aware that I am embarked in another institu- 
tion, the Society for the Extinction of the Slave-trade and the Civilization of 
Africa, the weight of which rests principally upon myself. It has now 
arrived at a critical period of its history ; and the whole of my mind, my 
time, and my zeal, are absorbed iu it. But I was anxious to be present 
to-day, that I might have an opportunity of offering, I will not say an apo- 
logy, but an explanation. I wished to see, not only the assembly itself, 
but those brave and good men from America who have periled their lives 
again and again in this cause. I had my humble share of obloquy in 
former days, when the subject was not so rife as it is at present. I know 
a little, but very little, compared with them, of the contempt and deri- 
sion which attend an honest declaration of adherence to the rights of 
man. But I have felt the greatest esteem and veueration for those 

* This intention was carried into execution in a letter from Mr., now Sir 
Thomas Fowell Buxton to Mr. Tubnbuli., inserted in the abridgment of the 
former gentleman's book on the African Slave-trade audits Kemedy, page 62. 



who have stood ont in America, in the face of their own countrymen, and 
denounced this atrocious and cruel system. I know something of the great 
and heavy sacrifices which it must have cost them in order to do so. I 
wished also to come here and express a hope, that no one would so misunder- 
stand me, as to suppose that I shared in the slightest degree, in that narrow 
and mean jealousy which would describe our Society, and that here assem- 
bled as rivals and antagonists. Rivals and antagonists they are not, they are 
sister institutions, they walk in a different road, they use different means, but 
their object is one and the same. I have not the absurd and blind vanity to 
suppose, that my bosom harbours a deeper and more intense abhorrence of the 
slave-trade, than that which is felt by every gentleman in this room. But 
may I not take the liberty of saying, that I am an enemy to slavery, that 
some portion of my existence has been given to its abolition ; and though I 
see here men who have made great sacrifices, though I see many more able 
advocates than ever I could be, I do hope I may say, without vanity, that I 
see no one from whose breast gushes forth a deeper and more intense stream 
of desire for the utter overthrow of slavery in every form and in every climate. 
I repeat the two societies are not rivals ; your first blow is aimed at slavery, ours 
at the slave-trade ; you wish to extinguish the demand, we desire to crush 
the supply ; your operations are in one hemisphere, ours in another. There is 
no possibility of interference ; on the contrary, success cannot attend the one 
without its also attending the other. If God should be pleased to grant the 
utmost measure of success to your noble efforts, and the demand should 
greatly abate ; what is there which you can more earnestly and intensely 
desire, than that the supply should also decrease ? Of all the horrible tragedies 
which exist, and which are brought to light by the slave-trade, there is not 
one so affecting to my mind as this, which now stands upon record, that slaves 
have been collected in the interior of Africa with dreadful slaughter ; they 
have been brought down to the coast under the harassing oppressions of a 
march, and the mortality it occasions ; and then owing to some cause, some- 
times the honest interference of British vessels capturing the ships which 
were to convey them, they have been left to perish, and there are instances of 
hundreds having been slaughtered by the knife of the ruffians to whom they 
belong. I know men who have seen the victims wandering about the coast 
picking up foetid fish which have been cast on the shore, and at last dying the 
victims of famine. Stop the demand therefore, without, at the same time, 
effecting a corresponding diminution in the supply, and these tragedies will 
occur. On the other hand, supposing it should please God, in mercy to our 
efforts, and hearing our- earnest prayers, to bless us with pre-eminent 
success, that the supply should be reduced in Africa, and that the Africans 
should learn that greater benefit is to be derived from labour, than from 
the sale of the labourer ; then what can we desire more fervently than 
this, that while there is a decrease of the supply, there should also be a 
decrease of the demand? Unless this be the case, our efforts will merely 
result m transferring the slave-trade from one quarter to another. The 
slave-trader will go into another field, and carry famine and sword into new, 
and as yet, undevastated districts, so that the effect will be to put the slave- 
trade down in one spot, and cause it to burst out and rage in another. I say 
therefore, that these two societies are detachments of the same great army • 
I hope that they will unite together, and that it will please Providence, by 
their efforts, to produce the overthrow of slavery and the slave-trade, 



244 

throughout the world. I can most truly say that it has been my endeavour- 
to suppress any feeling of rivalry of this description, and to promote to the 
best of my power the objects you have in view. I pray God to bless your 
efforts ; I pray that his countenance may be lifted up upon you and upon our- 
selves ; and I do pray that both societies may act in perfect harmony. 

Mr. BIRNEY.— I trust I may be indulged in a few remarks. They have 
no immediate connexion with the resolution before the Convention, but have 
suggested themselves to me, in consequence of those which have already 
fallen from the honourable gentleman, (Mr. Buxton) by whose address we 
have all been so much gratified. I need scarcely say to this Convention, that 
in the United States his name has been most houourably identified with the 
abolition movement throughout the world. I rejoiced to hear him declare so 
explicitly as he did this morning, that there is no conflict or rivalry between 
the plan to which he has more especially devoted his efforts, and the one 
which we have more immediately before us ; one which is similar in its object 
and aim and measures with that with which the American delegates are more 
especially connected. I rejoiced to hear him say, that although we are pur- 
suing different routes, yet that we are moving on with the same object, and that 
our aim is wholly identical. I doubt not that our friends on the other side of 
the Atlantic will rejoice with me in this avowal. But I have a further object 
iu view in thus rising to address you. It may be known to those who have 
paid particular attention to the anti-slavery cause in America, that from its 
commencement its greatest adversary has been, what is now known amongst 
us, as the American Colonization Society. Without going into the facts in 
support of this opinion, I may venture to say here, that it is decidedly more 
hostile than any adversary with which we have to contend. I think I may 
state further, without doing injustice to those concerned, that it is at this 
time the embodiment of the pro-slavery and slave-holding interests ; and that 
through it they are acting for the maintenance of slavery and its abominations. 
I rise not only that full justice may be accorded to the gentleman who has 
d us, but that he may have an opportunity of placing his opinions 
with colonizatiou in so clear a light, that hereafter we may not be 
embarrassed by seeing his name connected as it has been by the American 
Colonization Society or Colonizers, with their unhappy scheme. From the 
attention which I have already had an opportunity of bestowing on his work, 
and from a conversation which I have had with him this morning, and with a 
gentleman closely united with him in the civilization enterprise ; I learn with 
satisfaction that there is no connexion intended between his scheme and the 
one so deprecated by the friends of the coloured people in the United States. 
Mr. BUXTON.— Certainly one does see great changes in this world, but 
of all the changes which I ever expected to see accomplished, I never did 
conceive it possible, that any oue could have supposed that I was a friend of 
the American Colonization Society. In the first place, in my house was 
written that letter which was signed, first by Wilbehfobce, then by C l arkson, 
I believe then by Zachauy Macauiay, than whom Africa has had no more 
sincere, no more laborious, no more disinterested and effectual friend, and 
then by others, calling upon our friends in England not to assist in that cause, 
seeing its defects so far as American slavery was concerned. Again, I am 
not aware that I have published one single word which can be miscon- 
strued into an approbation of that scheme. I held at that moment, and ever 
have held, that, so far as the negro in America was concerned, it was a fatal 



245 

delusion. I will not enter into motives, I will not accuse any man who may 
have honestly engaged in that scheme, but it is plainly an erroneous scheme, 
calculated to produce the very worst effects on the interests of the black 
population in America. Moreover, in consequence of its having been repre- 
sented to me that much misuse of my name and influence had been made 
in America, I addressed a letter to a friend of mine in this room, declaring 
that there was no change in my opinions on the subject, and that I still hold 
the doctrines I have ever held with regard to the Colonization Society, 
as far as its operation extends within the United States. I have a letter 
from Mr. George Thompson, in which he declares that my sentiments 'were 
all he could wish, and would produce the very best effects. But while I say 
this, I wish to be candid. Wc made a distinction when it first began, as to 
the effect of the Colonization Society upon the negro in America, and to him 
wc cousidered, that it would be most injurious, not to say fatal, and as to the 
effect it was likely to produce iu Africa, where we felt that it would be difficult 
to trace out what its results would be. I have found some statements in 
the writings of one gentleman belonging to it, in which I fully concur, and 
I should feel ashamed, if in this assembly I did not avow it ; I allude to what 
he states as to the capability of Africa to be cultivated, and the disposition of 
the people to labour. There is much in the reports from Liberia, which has 
deeply interested me ; and, generally, I can hardly go so far as to say univer- 
sally, I have approved and rejoiced in the operations of the Colonization 
Society, as far as Africa is concerned; there, if I am to believe their accounts, 
they have abolished all distinctions of colour ; there they have abolished 
slavery ; there they have allowed the energies of the black man to have full 
scope ; and there, therefore, they merit our approbation. But disposed as I 
am to do justice to one part of their scheme, I will not shrink from declaring, 
that from the beginning of the Society up to the present day, I have been and 
am an utter enemy to the Colonization Society, so far as its effect upon the 
coloured population of the United States is concerned. 

Mr. BIBNEY. — I have no doubt that the expression of opinion just given 
will be productive of the most salutary effects iu America. 

Lieut. FITZGEBALD.— I feel that I am incurring great hazard in 
presuming to differ from the two last gentlemen who have spoken, with regard 
to Liberia. Having visited the colony last February, I have formed au opinion 
regarding it, and not without some right to do so. At j>resent the colony 
extends a distance of 250 miles along the coast, and from all I could see and 
learn, I solemnly believe that neither Cuba nor any other country can obtain 
a supply of slaves from thence. I cannot say what may be the influence of 
the colony on American slavery ; but I have no hesitation in declaring my firm 
persuasion, that if we had free colonies at the mouth of every African river, 
Spanish vessels could not he there for three or four months, watcliing their 
opportunity to escape with a cargo of slaves. Governor Buchanan insisted 
upon the barracoons, or the pens in which the slaves a re kept until they are 
put ou board the vessels, being destroyed ; and there is not a chief within the 
district who would think of erectiug one. 

Mr. SCOBLE. — I wish to ask Lieut. Fitzgerald : — First, whether slavers 
have not been captured at Liberia? Secoudly, whether slave-traders cannot 
at all times be supplied there with shackles or other materials which they 
require for the purpose of carrying on their nefarious traffic on the western 
coast of Africa ? Thirdly, whether De Sotjza has not a house at Liberia 



246 

where he can draw any amount of money he pleases, in order to cany on his 
operations on that part of the coast over which he has jurisdiction ? 

Lient. FITZGERALD— I never heard of a slave ship being captured at 
Liberia, hut it is not improbable, that when the colony was first established, 
and was therefore in a state of weakness, a Spanish vessel with a crew of 
fifty or sixty men, might obtain a cargo, in spite of every effort which conld 
be made to prevent it. But I believe that now a vessel might as well proceed 
to Sierra Leone as to Liberia, for that purpose. With regard to De Souza, I 
never heard by report, or otherwise, that he has an establishment at Liberia ; 
nor did I ever hear that shackles conld be procured there. I again repeat my 
firm conviction, that there is not a single slave exported there, nnless it is 
done in the most rapid manner. At the present moment, there is such a 
system adopted that it is scarcely possible, in all instances, to avoid it. I 
know a case, in which a slaver within four hours got 450 slaves on board ; she 
never anchored, but sailed immediately for Cuba. In such a case, the 
Governor of Liberia conld do nothing. But as for a vessel lying three months 
in the river, with her cargo on board, watching the British cruisers, no such 
thing can take place ou the coast of Liberia. I was once out in a river four 
days with my boats, having received information that there were two slavers 
in the neighbourhood. I landed, and saw within the distance of half a mile 
three barracoons. I was surrounded by. black men, among whom was the 
King's brother, who spoke as good English as myself. I asked him, if he 
conld give me any information about the slavers ; to which he replied "No," 
and if he could, he would not. I then inquired, if he was not ashamed of 
being a slave-d ealer, to which he answered, " No ; I owe no allegiance to 
Queen Victoria, and there is no law against it here." That river is not half 
a mile wide, and if a colony were formed at its month, no slaver conld go in 
or ont of it. That is the case with many other rivers which I have visited. 
The river Bonny alone, in 1S3G, sent ont 30,000 slaves, in spite of all onr 
cruisers. But during the last two years there has not been a slaver seen 
there, and the palm oil trade is nourishing rapidly. 

Mr. BUXTON.— Some misapprehension must have occurred in the mind of 
Lieut. Fitzgerald as to what I stated. I said that so far as the Coloni- 
zation Society operated on the negroes in America, I thonght it most iujurious. 
I am not qualified, perhaps, to pronounce so positive an opinion with regard 
to its effects in Africa. My information on this point, is derived from their 
own publications, hut if I am to credit these, and I see no reason for distrusting 
them, I am hound to acknowledge that there, I think, they have done good. 

Lient. FITZGERALD.— To show the anxiety of Governor BucnANAN 
to pnt an end to the slave-trade, I may state that a few weeks before I 
reached Sierra Leone, he visited it, to ask for assistance to attack a strong 
slave-holding position ; the small force at his control not being sufficient for 
the purpose, and it was refused him. 

Mr. BIRNEY.— I dislike as much as any gentleman to be tronble- 
some, bnt from the testimony already before the meeting, given by Lieut. 
Fitzgerald, I feel reluctant to leave the case in its present position. 
On the two points which have been particularly adverted to, I have almost 
accidentally some slight evidence in my hand. It will ocenpy a few minutes 
only in reading. Before doing so, I wish to exempt the Colonization Society 
at home, and the present as well as the former Governors of Liberia, from 
any charge of being concerned in the slave-trade, or of wishing its con- 



247 

tinuance. They have been unable to restrain the colouists from giving aid 
and countenance to the slavers. I equally believe, and I feel myself autho- 
rised to assume, the respectability of the parties whose evidence is contained 
iu this pamphlet. It is entitled, "The Colonization Scheme considered, &c, 
in a letter addressed to the Hon. Theodore Frelinghu-yzen and the Hon. 
Benjamin F. Butler," both American citizens of the first respectability 
and influence, and both distinguished for their zeal in the colonization cause. 
I will not detain the meeting by giviug all the testimony, but adduce a few 
of the most prominent parts. Asiimtjn was among the first Governors of the 
colony, a man decidedly of a very superior mind, and in writing to the board 
of mauagei'sin America upon the subject, he says: — 

" It is not known to every one how little difference can be per- 
ceived in the measure of iutellect, possessed by an illiterate rustic from 
the United States, and a sprightly native of the coast" — " the fact 
certainly is, that the advantage is oftenest clearly on the side of 
the latter." " An unlimited indulgence of appetite ; and the laboured 
excitement, and unbounded gratification of lust, the most unbridled 
and beastly, are ingredients of the African character. Such is the com- 
mon character of all; and it operates with all the power of an ever- 
present example on the colonists * * * from the moment of their 
arrival in Africa. It must produce its effects. It has produced them, 
and witbont a powerful, counteracting agency, it must, at no great 
distance of time, as snrely leaven the whole mass, as human nature 
shall continue what it is. Colonists thus suffer a double disadvantage ; 
are subject to all that is contaminating in the character of the natives, 
at the same time, that they have passed beyond the reach of the correc- 
tive example of enlightened Christians." 

In February, 1834, the Rev. Mr. Pinney, (the Governor), writing from 
Monrovia, says :— 

" The natives are perfect menials, I mean those in town, and sorry 
am I to be obliged to say, that, from my limited observation, it is 
evident, that as little effort is made by the colonists to elevate them, 
as is usually made by the higher classes in the United States, [[the 
whites], to elevate the lower [the coloured people]. Nothing has been 
done for the natives, hitherto, by the colonists, except to educate a 
few who were in their families in the capacity of servants." 

The same geutleman in 1836, publicly stated : — 

" The colony has existed now for fifteen years, and yet the 20,000 
Africans around it, have uot materially altered any of their manners ; 
they dress in the same negligent way [their only clothing being a pieco 
of cloth around the loins], they dwell in the same poor huts; they 
have the same mode of agriculture, as when we first came here." 



248 

The late Goveenoh Skinner, in 1837, says :— 

" But few of the natives have been civilized. I have known but 
five instances ; two of them are professors of religion." 

On the other point, as to the slave-trade, it is stated here : — 

" Since the settlement of the colony, Pedro Blanco, one of the 
largest slave-traders in the world, has established himself at the mouth 
of Gallinas river, between Monrovia and Sierra Leone, within fifty- 
miles of the former, and about treble that distance from .the latter. 
What Pedho Blanco's opinion is, (and doubtless, it is a very sound 
one), as to the effect of the colonies on his business, the naked fact of 
his establishing himself in their neighbourhood, sufficiently indicates." 

In a letter from the Governor of Liberia, dated 8th January, 1836, it 

" I have had constant difficulties with the natives, in eonsequenee of 
the wars in which they are engaged, and the capture of persons to sell 
as slaves, some of whom have been taken from our purchased territories. 
Boats have been sent from Spanish slavers into the St. Paul's, and 
slaves have been bought in that river." 

Captain Nicholson, in a report to the Secretary of the Navy, says :— 

"Within a year four slave factories have been established almost 
within sight of the colony,' ' [Monrovia]. 

The British Parliament have lately published various documents relative to 
the slave-trade, among them is an intercepted letter from the Captain of a 
slaver to his owner in Cuba. The Captain writes, (28th September, 1838), 
from Little Bassa, (Liberia), as follows : — 

" To-morrow the schooner sails for New Sestos, (believed to be also in 
Liberia), to take on board a cargo of slaves which I have ready there. 
I have been obliged to have one hundred sets of shackles made at 
Cape Messurado," (Monrovia). 

Governor Buchanan, on the 10th of August, 1839, writes :— 

" Before my arrival here, business of every kind in the colony had 
become exceedingly dull, and the general impression was, that the 
patrons in America were losing their interests in affairs here, and that 
poor Liberia must go down. In this state of things, while our mechanics 
could find no employment at home, the slavers offered them -plenty of 
work, high wages, and good Spanish doubloons for pay. The temptation 
was irresistible, and some whose necessities were too strong for their 
principles, went among them j but I recalled all the wanderers as soon 
as I came here." 



I will detain the meeting with hut a single extract from the Liberia Herald, 
for May, 1838 :— 

" The first requisite to the advancement and prosperity of the colony, 
is the suppression of the slave-trade in our vicinity. This trade has 
been gradually acquiring strength for the last four years. Its ravages 
have been more fearful, and the vessels engaged in it more numerous, 
than at any former period of the colont's history. An exterminating 
tear has raged over an extent of fifty miles abound us; nearly all 
communication with the interior has been cut off; lands have 
remained untilled, every article of food has advanced 200 per cent, in 
price, and horror and confusion have raged on every side." 

Mr. FULLER. — It is nothing more than justice that the meeting should 
know who the last speaker is; he was once the authorised agent of the 
American Colonization Society. 

Rev. C. E. LESTER.— And the man who said, he never should have libe- 
rated his -slaves so long as he held to his colonization principles. 

Mr. PRICE. — I am desirous of offering a few observations with re- 
ference to the subject of slavery in Cuba, and consequently on the slave- 
trade as encouraged thereby. I have heard with deep interest the descrip- 
tion which has been given to this meeting by Dr. Madden. I cannot but 
believe, that its translation iuto the Spanish, as well as all other European 
languages, will he of considerable service ; and I, therefore, very cheerfully 
support the resolution which has been moved and seconded. As another 
opportunity may not, perhaps, be afforded of offering some further remarks 
upon it, I should regret losing the present occasion for giving a little infor- 
mation which I happen to possess confirmatory of the statements made by 
Br. Madden, with reference to slavery in Cuba. My residence being in that 
part of South Wales in which copper is principally manufactured, it affords 
me an opportunity of communicating with persons who have visited Cuba ; 
captains of vessels and others, bringing home copper-ore from that island to 
be smelted in my own vicinity ; and I have availed myself of these means 
of obtaining some information on the snbject of slavery. I have also had 
access to an individual who has resided there for a considerable time, and 
who was sent out from this country, for the purpose of superintending the 
work in one of these copper mines. I have also a personal acquaintance with 
individuals engaged in those copper mines in Cuba ; and I will do them the 
justice to say, that I am ready to believe they persuade themselves that 
their mines are not worked by slaves. But from the mouth of an individual 
who has been several years superintendent of one of these copper mines, 
I have distinctly learned the contrary. ' I also learned from him, that the 
proprietors resident in this city, and in other parts of Great Britain, do 
intend to steer clear of the ownership of slaves, that they are themselves 
not proprietors of slaves, bnt the practice which obtains there, is, to hire" them 
from those who own them. I made a memorandum of the facts as he com- 
municated them. The mine on which he was engaged is worked chiefly by 
slaves. They are priucipally hired from planters, at the rate of about 
• ilnll-iTK . in h |n>r month, equal to about «C25 per annum, as he was informed 
by ohe of their overseers, besides their clothing and food. They are fed on 



s, and are kept in good 
jrs are, in directing a 
at their work. Some 
ly, he thinks about one 
about forty negroes 



250 

fish, sweet potatoes, and Indian corn boiled up in a me 
condition. He was employed as other Cornish min 
number of them how to work, and keeping them oi 
free natives are also employed at the mines ; not ms 
in twenty ; they are not fond of much work. There \ 
brought up to the mines from a captured slaver while he t 
believes they were slaves, being treated, and fed, and worked as such. He 
does not know whether they were bought by the adventurers in the mine 
or how. He has been shocked at the severe flogging ; he has seen a woman 
undergo 200 lashes of a heavy long whip, which fetches blood every stroke. 
She was afterwards earned into the negro house to take her course. He 
knew a man slave who stole a pig, and ate part of it ; he was promised a 
flogging for it ; he dreaded it so much, that he went out and hung himself up to 
a tree aud died. He thinks no one would be found in Cuba to take an interest 
in terminating slavery. They will not allow missionaries. The slaves are 
eucouraged to work on Sundays, by a shilliug each for themselves to enable 
them to make merry, and dance, &c. in the evening. Worship is wholly ne- 
glected. I wish to avail myself of this opportunity of discouraging individuals 
from participating in the copper-mines, while slavery and the slave-trade are 
encouraged by them, as tending to perpetuate those monstrous evils ; while 
10 dollars per month, or £25 per annum are paid for the service of one of 
those slaves, and a guarantee, given by the owners of the mine, that in the 
event of accident and death, the full price of that slave shall be paid, 
there will necessarily be persons found ready to embark their capital in slaves 
for the purpose of getting rapidly rich. I have been told, that even the 
widow of a mining captain has been known to embark property iu slaves for 
the purpose of derivinga revenue for her support. I have been further informed, 
that even the captains of some of our vessels, have ventured to embark their 
property in slaves worked in this manner. It is obvious, the employers of 
slaves under these circumstances, are very directly encouraging, not only 
slavery, but the slave-trade. I earnestly desire that every one who hears 
me, or reads this statement, should wash his hands clear of this crime. 
Let them employ persons who are entirely free. If they would give to free 
men the same remuneration which is given to slave-owners and their slaves 
in food and clothing, how rapidly would they contribute to raise up a 
free set of miners, who would become a valuable body of men, and thus 
exhibit a light in Cuba which would contribute ultimately to promote the 
abolition of slavery and the slave-trade throughout the island ! Our hopes, 
do not rest on the employment of force, but on strictly religious and 
moral means for promoting the extirpation of slavery, and therewith the 
entire abolition of the slave-trade. I am persuaded, that auy of our friends 
who delude themselves with the idea, that they can destroy the slave-trade 
without destroying slavery, will fiud that they are utterly mistakeu. While 
persons can get rich by carrying on the trade, I am persuaded that it will be 
carried on ; and, therefore, the only effectual way is to lay the axe to the root 
of the evil tree, to cut it down ; I am very fearful that the effect of their 
labour may be exceedingly prejudicial, inasmuch as it contributes to raise 
the character of these individuals, it makes them so much more valuable 
for transportation across the Atlantic. In my apprehension, the first object 
to which we should turn our attention, and to which we should steadily 
direct it, is the abolition of slavery by strictly religious and moral means. I 



251 

rejoice, therefore, in the document put forth by Dr. Madden, and which is 
about to be translated into the Spauish and other laugnages. I hope there 
will be a strong persuasion cherished, not only in this assembly, but through- 
out Great Britain, that slavery must fall sooner or later, and that we can 
look with confidence for the blessing of Almighty Providence upon those 
measures which we adopt, knowing that they are in strict accordance with 
his Divine will. 

JOHN STURGE, Esq., (of Birmiugham).— I have risen, with the permission 
of the Chairman, to ask Dr. Madden a few questions with reference to the 
subject brought before us in his paper. I wish to ascertain the state of the free 
black population of Cuba ; their amount, their condition, and the share which 
they take in raising the productions of that island. The accounts we have 
hitherto had of Cuba aud the Brazils, have seemed to preseut au anomaly in 
the history of slavery, by asserting the existence of a state of society quite in- 
consistent with our geueral principles. We are told by Admiral Fleming, in 
his evidence before the House of Commons, that in Cuba, free-labour and slave- 
labour were going on pari passu ; that slaves and freemen were seen working in 
the same field ; and this was coupled with a statement of the exceediug leuity 
with which slaves are treated in Cuba. We were led to believe that the two 
systems were perfectly compatible with each other, under the same circumstances; 
that, iu fact, they were going on together, aud were about equally profitable. 
Admiral Fleming goes on to state, that it was a matter of indifference to the 
planter whether he imported slaves, or employed free blacks ; that he had, in 
uumerous instances, secu both engaged in the production of sugar, &c. I need 
not point out how utterly incousisteut this is with the encouragement giveu 
by Cuba to the slave-trade, and the fearfi ; I , hi man life which there 
takes place. I heard with great interest the statements of Dr. Madden, 
because they reconciled the state of things in that island with our principles, 
and showed that slavery was there, as elsewhere, a destructive and atrocious 
system in every respect. I hope that, if possible, some further light will be 
tkrowuupoii fls subject, in order that wc may draw some inferences ou the 
economical as well as the moral bearings of the questiou. 

The Convention then adjourned. 



FIFTH DAY'S SITTINGS, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 1840. 

(AFTERNOON). 

W. T. BLAIR, Esq., in the Chair. 

Mr. TURNBULL.— It was suggested by the paper read by my friend, Dr. 
Madden, that I had conceived a plan for the suppression of the African slave- 
trade. I am unwilling to detain the meeting with a long speech, especially as 
I should be obliged in a great measure to repeat what I have laid before the 
world at my leisure, in a work so often referred to this morning. I may 
however state, that soou after the appearance of that work, the Minister for 
Foreign Affairs did me the honour of addressing to me a letter, desiring me 
to lay before the Governmcut of this eonutry the particulars of that plan. I, 



252 

of course, most cheerfully complied, and with the permission of the Noble 
Secretary of State, I shall now lay the substance of that paper before the Con- 
vention. From the great and iu creasing amount of the African slave-trade, 

the evils of which have only been aggravated by the various attempts that have 
hitherto been made to restrain it, I submit, I am entitled to assume that the 
true principle on which an effective measure of abolition should be based 
has uot yet been disclosed. I will not assert, that the plan I am now to 
bring forward is free from all difficulty • but I confidently maintain that 
there is no difficulty atteuding it which caunot be easily surmounted, if the 
Government will consent to apply to it the mere moral force at its disposal. 
Mr. Buxton's mode of arriving at the suppression of the slave-trade 
is, by the civilization of Africa. A gallant officer (Lieut. Fitzgeealb) 
believes that it is possible to effect it by colonizing the coast, and g 
the mouths of the rivers. It will be seen that I do not rely either ( 
efficacy of a blockade, or on the tardy process of African civilization. The 
lever, with which I propose to overthrow this colossal grievance, is to be 
found among the simplest elements of economical science. It is by cutting 
off the demand for victims that the supply is to be suppressed. It is by 
making the purchaser and the possessor of au African slave insecure in the 
enjoyment of his unlawful acquisition, that he is to be deterred from paying 
the price. It is by demonstrating to the slave-dealer, that imported Africans 
will no longer be a marketable commodity, and by that process alone, that he 
will willingly abaudon a trade which has ceased to be profitable. The great 
consumers of African slaves are the empire of Brazil, and the colonial depen- 
dencies of Spain. I beg to impress this point strongly on the Conventiou, 
that all the countries formerly so deeply engaged in this accursed traffic, have 
been driven from it with the exception of these two. The white inhabitants 
of the Brazilian empire begin to be seusible of the imminent dangers to which 
they will expose themselves, if they persevere much louger in adding to the 
disproportionate amount of their negro population, by the toleration of the 
African slave-trade. With the example of St. Domingo before their eyes, we 
have a reasonable guarantee of the sincerity of the professions of his Imperial 
Majesty's government, in favour of a system of absolute suppression. The 
case is somewhat different with regard to the colonial dependencies of Spain. 
In Cuba, the white and celoured portions of the population are nearly balanced 
in numerical strength. On this point there is some little difference of opinion 
betweeu Mr. Scoble and myself. He believes the numbers now existing there 
to be somewhat greater than I make them to be. As the difference, however, 
has little or no bearing on the priueiple I desire to support, I shall not detain 
you by contesting it. In Porto Rico, the negroes are far outnumbered by the 
inhabitants of European descent. In both islands, but especially in Cuba, the 
natural desire for independence has of late years been stimulated into passion, 
by the intolerable burden of the fiscal exactions -which have been levied for 
the purpose of defraying- the charges of a war in another hemisphere, in which 
they feel no interest. It is in consequence of this state of things, that the 
sincerity of the professions of the government of her Catholic Majesty, on 
the subject of the suppression of the slave-trade is liable to reasonable sus- 
picion. The plauters of Cuba and Porto Rico, wherever their estates are 
fully aud properly peopled with a just proportion between the sexes, in place 
of desiring the continuance of the slave-trade, have a direct aud obvious 
On the neighbouring continent of North America, 



253 

within two days' sail of the Havana, the average value of a field slave is at 
least a thousand dollars. In Cuba, the effect of the competition of the slave- 
dealers with each other is to reduce the value of an imported African to less 
than the third part of that amount. The high price of slaves in those States 
of North America which adjoin the Gulf of Mexico is still maintained, in 
spite of the well known fact, that, in the breeding districts of Maryland and 
Virginia, the negro population is found to increase in a duplicate ratio, as 
compared with the inhabitants of those regions of European descent. The 
planters of Cuba are aware, that the negro population of Virginia has long been 
doubling itself every twelve years and a half, while the white inhabitants 
require twenty-five years to accomplish the process of duplication. There 
is nothing in the climate of Cuba to prevent a similar rate of iucrease of the 
negroes. There is nothing, in short, but the cheapness of labour, arising from 
the toleration of the African trade, which prevents the proprietors of old 
plantations in Cuba from throwing themselves with confidence on the priu- 
ciple of propagation. Here I would desire respectfully to guard myself 
against the supposition of my being the apologist of slavery under any circum- 
stances, or with any degree of modification. My present business is to deal 
with the African slave-trade, and to suggest a practicable mode of accom- 
plishing its suppression. In the proper place, and at the proper period, I do 
not despair of being able to demonstrate, that by a resort to sound principles, 
the practice of slavery itself may be rooted out, in those very countries whose 
social and political institutions are now so intimately blended with it. I have 
not engaged in this conflict without endeavouring to measure the strength of 
the adversaries with whom I shall have to conteud. Of these I perceive there 
are several classes :— The mere dealer in slaves— the man who invests his 
capital in the building and outfit of fast sailing clippers, in manning them 
with their ruffian crews, iu loading them with their cargoes of rum or gun- 
powder, and in devoting himself to the study of iuternational treaties, and 
preventive laws for the sole purpose of evading them, is not by any means to 
be regarded as a very formidable antagonist. The terms "coward" and 
"capitalist" were never more truly convertible than in the person of the 
trafficker in slaves. He may hire the bands of ruffians and outcasts to hazard 
their lives in his service ; but his money he will not peril without the assurance 
of a profitable return. That object he finds the means of accomplishing, 
either by spreading the risk over a sufficient number of separate adventures, 
or by abandouing a portion of the gain he contemplates in the shape of 
premiums of insurance, to Joint Stock Companies or private Underwriters. 
Another class of opponents will be found among the ministerial and judicial 
servants of the Spanish Government. Their superiors in the mother country 
have ingeniously made it the interest of a great number of these public func- 
tionaries to evade the execution of the laws, and to convert that evasion into 
a fruitful source of profit, the better to secure the retention of the island in 
her Catholic Majesty's dependence. Inasmuch, however, as the existence 
of the Court of mixed commission at the Havana, with all its acknowledged 
imperfections, has had the effect, during the twenty years elapsed since its 
creation, of disappointing the cupidity of those venal functionaries to a very 
considerable extent, I see no reason to doubt that, with the improved 
machinery I propose to introduce, this iniquitous source of profit will be 
completely dried up and extinguished. Before entering on the specification of 
the nature of this machinery, it may not be inconvenient to indicate the first 



254 

and most important step of the process which I propose shonld be followed. 
It is asserted by many of our most eminent philanthropists, that, according 
to the spirit of our existing treaties with Spain, wc are eutitlcd to demand the 
instant liberation of every individual consigned to slavery, in any part of the 
'Spanish dependencies, since the date of the first of these Conventions. To 
this argument it would not be easy to offer a satisfactory reply. For the pre- 
sent, however, I am content to cut off the 'source of future importation, and 
to leave this an open question, to be agitated by others. Should my humble 
voice be ever entitled to share in the decision, I trust I need not say with 
what cordiality wonld I give it iu the affirmative. Let us not embarrass our- 
selves, however, with too much work at a time. The most convenient 
moment for discussing this separate question will be after the channels of 
importation shall have been cut off, and after the enormous masses of capital 
at this moment engaged in the trade to Africa shall have been finally drawn 
off, to find their due level in the great money markets of the world. Accord- 
ing to the views I am now to submit to your Society, the Courts of Mixed 
Commission at the Havana and Rio de Janeiro, which under the operation of 
existing treaties have gradually been sinking into a state of listless inactivity, 
will at once be raised to a degree of efficieucy and vigour, which they have 
not possessed at any period of their existence. The plan I have couceived is, 
by the negociation of new conventions or of additional clauses to existing 
treaties, to confer on these Courts the power of enforcing the laws of the 
country in which they sit, by declaring that A, B, or C, the inmate of a bar- 
racoon, or a labourer on a plantation, is not a native Creole, but has been 
introduced into the country in violation of law and treaty. I am further to 
propose that the onus of proving a lawful dominion over the slave should be 
thrown on the party claiming it, that, in short, there should be a legal pre- 
sumption in favour of freedom ; and I think there can be the less objection 
to introduce and recognise this principle in the treaty I recommend for nego- 
ciation, inasmuch as I have been informed by the eminent Spanish juris- 
consults with whom I have advised on the subject, that the presumption of 
freedom, in the absence of proof to the contrary, is already the right of every 
inhabitant of her Catholic Majesty's dominious. Happily, however, for 
the interests of humanity, it is matter of notoriety, among persons conversant 
with the subject, that a fresh imported or bozal negro can, for many years 
after his arrival in America, be distinguished at a glance from the native 
Creoles. The distinction is in fact so clear, that the mere presentation of the 
individual iu Court, without a word of evidence as to the place of his birth, 
would in most cases be sufficient to determine his condition: Should her 
Majesty's Government be induced to enter on such a negociation, the time 
grounds and motives for the opposition to be expected from the Government 
of her Catholic Majesty will not, in all probability, be openly avowed. 
It will never be admitted that a clandestine encouragement of the worst prac- 
tices of the slave-trade is reudered necessary by a sort of political necessity, 
in order to repress the aspirations of the Creole population of Cuba, for that 
sort of independeuce which the other Spanish provinces of America have 
already achieved. Neither will it be pretended that the continuance of the 
slave-trade is necessary to the successful cultivation of the soil, in pre- 
sence of the fact already alluded to ; the rapid increase of the negro populatiou 
in the neighbouring states of the North Americau Union. The ostensible 
ground of opposition will probably be confined to a pretended fear of discon- 



255 

tent and insurrection on the part of those slaves who will not be entitled to a 
declaration of freedom in their favour, in consequence of the place of their 
birth, or the date of their introduction. Her Catholic Majesty's Govern- 
ment have constantly professed as ardent a desire as our own to concur in the 
measures of suppression already proposed ; and the fact is undeniable, that, 
in the place of being diminished or modified by any of the measures of 
restraint which have heretofore been resorted to, the evil is actually on the 
increase ; a position satisfactorily established by the progressive nature of the 
oflicial returns of the amount of the slave population. The arguments that 
may be drawu from a pretended fear of discontcut and insurrection may be 
answered by the fact, that it is the wild and savage African alone whose 
removal we propose ; and that it is no part of our plan to disturb the condi- 
tion of the comparatively civilised Creole. It is, besides, by units, and not 
by cargoes, that the process of liberation will take place ; so that the pro- 
ceedings under the new treaty will be much less alarming in their general 
aspect, or their individual amount, than those already sanctioned by existing 
Conventions. As the proceedings of the Court of Mixed Commission, more- 
over, have hitherto been conducted in strict conformity with the Spanish 
principle of closed doors, written pleadings, and secret deliberations, it might 
possibly be advisable to adhere to the established practice ; inasmuch as the 
presence of a British prosecutor, and one or more British judges, would afford 
a sufficient guarantee for their perfect regularity. The mere existence of the 
Court for upwards of twenty years, in the course of which, discussions have 
frequently arisen affecting the freedom of entire cargoes of Africans, without 
producing a single practical evil, to give the Captain-General or the Go- 
vernment any substantial chance of complaiut, appeal's to nic to aiford a broad 
basis on which the demand for the enlargement of the powers of the Court 
may be conveniently founded. The great advantage of proceeding by units, 
and uot by masses, is, that every iudividual liberation would amount to the 
assertion of a vital principle, without affording any reasonable pretext for 
apprehension or alarm. It may uot be easy to suggest any better expedient 
than that recognised by treaty, for the case of a difference of opinion between 
the two Commissary Judges. It is true, that in doubtful cases, a decided 
leaning has been observed, on the part of the Spanish Members of the Court, 
towards the acquittal of the prizes brought up for condemnation ; and there 
may, therefore, be some reasou to apprehend a corresponding disposition, to 
resist the liberation of the negro clients of the British prosecutor, as 
often as a sufficient air of doubt can be thrown over the case, to justify 
the hesitation of the Spanish Commissary Judge. On the very worst 
supposition it is possible to conceive, the drawing of lots for the choice of 
the arbitrator would be resorted to iu every case, without a single exceptiou. 
I make this hypothesis iu the full conviction that such a degree of perti- 
nacity on the part of the Spanish and Brazilian judges, is not to be appre- 
hended. It would at least be wholly inconsistent with all that has yet 
occurred in these countries : for it is only when a case has acquired a certain 
air of doubt or difficulty, that the foreign judges, whatever their leaning or 
inclination may have been, have gone so far as to divide the Court and call in 
the arbitrator. The practice of the Spanish Judges, however indefensible in 
many particular instances, has never yet been carried to this systematic 
extreme ; and, in fairness, it caunot be said there is any just reason to anti- 
cipate such au unheard of design of pertinacity for the future. But suppose 



256 

for a moment, that the Spanish judge and the Spanish arbitrator were to he' 
for ever deaf to the calls of duty, and the evidence of fact, it results from the 
mere doctrine of chances, which, when applied to thousauds of cases, becomes 
infallible, that one-half of the whole of those to be thus presented to the 
Mixed Court for adjudication, would be decided in favour of the liberty of 
the slave. Now, the systematic liberation of one-half only of the future impor- 
tations would be perfectly sufficient to prevent the planter from paying a 
remunerating price to the dealer or importer, and hence it is demonstrated, 
that the system I propose must be fatal to the trade. Objections of a dilatory 
nature may, of course, be expected on the part of her Catholic Majesty's 
Ministers, at the outset of the negociation. The necessity or convenience of 
consulting the Governors or Captains-General, of their transatlantic pos- 
sessions, will probably be urged as a reason for withholding their immediate 
assent to a proposition, which is calculated to affect the future interest and 
prosperity of the Spanish West India colonies. To render this pretence 
unavailing, I am strongly of opinion, that the past and future importation of 
slaves into these colonies, should be separated from each other by a broad line 
of distiuction ; aud that the object of the proposed negociation, should be exclu- 
sively confined to the case of future importations. The most convenient ter- 
minus a quo would probably be the date of the first official note of the British 
Ambassador, directing the attention of her Catholic Majesty's Government 
to the subject. I need not trouble the Couvention with a detail of the collateral 
advantages, for the most part of a political and governmental uature, which 
I thought it my duty to suggest to her Majesty's Ministers, as additional 
reasons for entering ou this negociation. Nor would I think myself justified 
in endeavouring by the force of mere authority, to persuade the Convention 
to adopt the views I have brought forward. I may be allowed to mention, 
however, that the periodical press, iu reviewing my work on the Spanish 
West Iudies, in which this plan of slave-trade suppression was originally 
disclosed, has been all but unanimous in its approval of the principle. Even 
the Westminster Review, whilst taking Mr. Buxton and myself to pieces, 
admits that my plan would be so effectual, that the apprehension of its conse- 
quences would indnce the Spanish Government to withhold its consent from 
the treaty, the ucgociation of which I have recommended. I have no doubt 
of the good disposition of her Majesty's Ministers, and their general 
sympathy with the views of this Convention, on the' leading topics sub- 
mitted to your consideration. If the plan I have now brought forward 
shall have the good fortune to meet with your approval, the expression of 
that approval in the form of resolutions or otherwise, will, doubtless, secure 
for it more careful consideration, and afterwards a chance at least of its 
obtaining a fair trial. 

Mr. JUSTICE JEREMIE.— It is with extreme reluctance that I appear 
before you on two following days, but I have been requested to say a few words 
on Mr. Turnbull's plan. Mr. Turneull's intention we all know to be 
excellent, his talents we can bear witness to, and I am sure that his zeal is 
surpassed by none. It is, therefore, with great regret that, while I acknow- 
ledge the importance of his plan, I am bound to express some doubts of its 
ultimate success. What is his plan ? Precisely the one that we have tried 
at the Mauritius, and which did not succeed. This is my justification for 
appearing before you. We had it in operation there for years, and yet it 
failed. The theory is no doubt a tempting one ; as it invalidates the title 



257 

to an imported slave,- to the last moment of that slave's existence ; from 
the day that he is withdrawn from Africa to the day he expires, the title 
to him in law is never recognised. So far it is excellent ; bnt when yon 
come to its practical operation, you must recollect where its principles are to 
be carried out; and the difficulty iu finding an executive principle inanyslave 
community, or under any modification of slavery. At the Mauritius we 
had Governors of the highest ranis: ; we had Judges selected from your best 
men ; and as to the zeal of your public prosecutor, I happened to be that pro- 
secutor, so you must judge for yourselves ; all I can say is, that I engaged 
most heartily iu that duty. But still we failed, the temptation was too 
strong ; we did not abolish slavery ; on the contrary, when the apprentice- 
ship system was introduced, 30,000 persons were paid for by British money, 
whom we knew had never been slaves. Then, how could I remain present 
at this Convention, and hear a measure of this nature propounded, without 
bearing my testimony to its inefficiency, or to the dire position in which we 
should be placed, if that were the only means left us for suppressing the 
slave-trade ? For who are to carry out the measure at the Havaua ? The 
Spanish Governor, and the Mixed Commission Court; but what confidence 
are you to place in either ? Most of you have heard of the case of the General 
Laborde recorded in Mr. Buxton's book. "What do we find there ? The Mixed 
Commission Court, by the most wretched of quibbles, by the mere circum- 
stance that the supercar go'swife and children were on board, pronouncing 
the negroes all passengers, for the wife was a passenger. And this is the 
Court which is expected to do its duty, and to pronounce every negro who 
hereafter enters such a country free. They will not perform even their 
minor duties, how then can you expect that they will fulfil those more impor- 
tant functions, which by this plan yon would devolve on them ? All the 
minor officers, all the subordinates, at least, are leagued against you ; public 
opinion is universally opposed to you, and even among superior officers all 
such would be discarded from society as should perform -their duty. Such 
was the case at the Mauritius. And so it will be in all such communities. 
But it strikes me that there is also an objection to the principle of the plan. 
Here I fancy may have beeu, though I have seen no one on the subject, the 
objection of the Foreign-office. What are you aiming at by this proposal' 
To induce the Spanish Government to allow foreign Judges to determine a 
question which they will call, whatever you may term it, a question of 
property, arising among their own subjects, within their own territories 
This, I think, is perfectly unheard of. The King of the French, it is 
stated, seems inclined to favour this plan. Now how do we stand with 
that nation, m reference to the slave-trade itself? Where is the defect of 
the French treaty? It is this ; the King of the French will not even allow 
of a Mixed Commission Court, he will not allow a Court composed partly of 
foreigners to try French subjects, though taken on the high seas, if on board 
a French ship. How then can we expect Spaniards to allow questions of 
Property (arising in the colonies themselves) to be tried by foreign judges t 
We, indeed, do not admit that slaves are property; but before a foreigner 
will adopt this principle, he must have annihilated slavery. Up to that 
moment he will feel that this is a question of property. The sea has been 
justly termed the common highway of nations, and by treaty with such powers, 
your Mixed Courts are permitted to interfere with cases of slave-trading as 
with cases of piracy. But even this is too;much, both in France and America 



■ 



258 

How, then, can you reasonably expect that any foreign government will 
allow you to interfere in their internal affairs i Admiring the principle of the 
proposed system- as I do, feeling that if the Spanish legislature could be 
induced to pronounce, that for the future any slave imported illegally, shall 
be considered as held illegally through the whole period of his life, as well as 
his issue, (which was the case at Mauritius), they will deserve great credit 
for good intentions at least ; and acquiescing in Mr. Turnbull's views to that 
extent, I am prepared to uphold any proposition to tbat effect. But yet, 
from the experience I have had in the Mauritius and elsewhere, of the imprac- 
ticability in a slave community of working out plans of this nature, I must 
still acknowledge, in rendering the fullest justice to Mr. Turnbull's zeal 
and intention, that he has not, in my humble opinion, discovered the panacea 
for the terrific scourge which has so long hung over the world. 

Mr. JOSEPH STURGE.— I wish to say a few words on the proposition 
before the Convention, believing tbat it is perfectly consistent with our prin- 
ciples to take it up. Whether it can be carried out or not is another question, 
on that point I agree to a certain extent with Justice Jeremie ; but I think 
that the Convention should, as far as possible, endeavour to get the principle 
asserted, both by English and Foreign authorities. I understand the point to 
be this, that a system of registration should be adopted in slave-holding coun- 
tries, which will throw the onus probandi on the slave-holder, that the slave is his ; 
and not that the slave should be obliged, as he was even in our colonies, to 
prove his right to freedom. If we could only get that principle asserted, I 
think it would be productive of great benefit, but I would make it retro- 
spective ; for I believe that if the spirit of our treaties with Brazil, Cuba, and 
other places were carried out, every slave who has been imported there since 
they were entered into, .and whose master cannot prove that he is a slave, 
ought to be at once set free. My friend Tuenbtjll's proposition only goes to 
a system of registration, which from the present time shall oblige the master to 
prove that the negro is a slave. I think, however, it is a most important 
point, and one wliich the Convention should take up. 

Mr. W. D.CREWDSON.— Ihavebeen struck in the course of this discussion 
with what I consider a departure from principle. If I understand the point, we 
are in danger of attempting to modify slavery, whereas we are met on the grand 
principle, tbat it should henceforth cease. I am afraid of sacrificing principle 
to something like expediency. If we do tbat, we shall afford a shelter to our 
enemies for entrenching themselves behind our own regulations. I would 
have the Convention seriously to look at this, before they enter into any 
resolutions on Mi: Ttonbull's proposal. I tbink there is danger in it. 

Dr. BOWRING.— I feel that the Convention is not at present in a con- 
dition to adopt the proposition now brought before it ; but it is due to Mr. 
Turnbull, and to the great zeal and labour whicb he has brought to bear on 
this very important question, that it should be referred to a Committee to 
examine into its general bearings. It will then be ascertained whether 
there are such practical difficulties in this plan as to prevent it from coming into 
operation. I certainly cannot forget, that about twenty years ago, there was in 
the capital and in the cortes of Spain, a great desire to abolish slavery and 
the slave-trade. I was present during a great many of their debates ; and 
resolutions friendly to the blacks, and apparently tending to the overthrow 
of both these evils were passed, but every body acquainted with the 
colonies, knew that they were as the idle wind which they regarded not. My 



259 

friend has put that difficulty most honestly forward. He says that you must 
have co-operation in order to give effect to his proposal, and he anticipates 
that difficulty which every one acquainted with despotic governments in 
their connexion with slavery and the slave-trade in every part of the world 
kuows is immense, if not invincible. But I do not think that we should do 
my friend justice, unless an attentive ear were lent to his proposals, and they 
were examined in all their details. I would therefore propose, 

That the plan of the slave-trade suppression, submitted by D. Turn- 
bum,, Esq., be referred to a committee, consisting of Joseph Sturge, 
J. G. Birnby, J. Jeremie, Josiah Oonder, William Forster, 
William Taylor, Esquires. Dr. Bowring, and Dr. Madden, to 
consider and report thereon. 

JOSIAH CONDEE,Es<i.— I think we should be a little on our guard against 
rejecting a feasible measure, merely upon the ground that it may not prove 
an efficient remedy. If we were to take up any secondary means under the 
idea of thereby accomplishing our great object, great mischief would result ; 
but while we are looking mainly to the extinction of slavery, I hope if there 
be any plan which would lessen existing evils, we shall not be deterred from 
eucouraging it, merely on the ground that it will, in our opinion, fall short of 
accomplishing all the good that others may sanguinely anticipate from it. I 
believe none of us calculate that Mr. Tuenbuii's scheme would accomplish 
much towards the abolition of slavery ; but, as a subsidiary measure, it may 
be well worth attention. On that account I am happy to second Dr. 
Bowrin g's proposition. 

Rev. A. HARVEY.— I am sorry to intrude myself upon the notice of the 
Convention, but I do think that if wc leave the high ground of principle 
which we have assumed, and consent in any degree to adopt or countenance 
a plan which ouly goes to mitigate and alleviate slavery, and may, there- 
fore, tend to prolong it indefinitely, we lose that moral influence which we 
now are enabled to employ for the speedy termination of the system. I 
think the statements made by the learned Judge (Jeremie), show that the 
plan before us would have but little influence in leading foreign nations to 
take immediate measures for the entire abolition of slavery ; and depend 
upon it, that if we countenance a system which embodies in it expediency, 
however little of it there may be, it will weaken the influence we should 
otherwise exert on the nations of the earth. If we recognise a principle or 
system, (that even by implication) acknowledges that slavery has a right to 
exist, we certainly shall sanction a great evil ; I would, therefore, give no 
countenance to the adoption of any such plan. 

Mr. JOSEPH STURGE.— -I should be sorry to say one word in support of 
any suggestiou which could be considered in the least degree a compromise of 
our great principle. But I will endeavour to illustrate the view I take of the 
subject, by putting a case with regard to murder or the taking away of human 
life. I conceive that under the gospel dispensation, we are forbidden to take 
human life under any circumstances ; but while I assert that general prin- 
ciple, I believe it is my duty, in every individual instance, to attempt to avert 
the evil itself. Now, while we assert the general principle of total and imme- 
diate emancipation; and if any document is issued from this Convention to 
foreign powers, I trust that principle will be fully stated ; yet I believe it is 



260 

our duty to try to lessen the number of victims placed under bondage before 
tliis great end can be attained. 

Rev. Dr. MORRISON.— There seems to he a great principle in the move- 
ment itself. I think if Mr. Tubsbtjul's proposal he fairly and logically put, it 
asserts the right of the slave to his liberty. In addition to this, and I am 
persuaded that I am giving it the right interpretation, these propositions are 
things which we must naturally look for as arising out of this Convention. I 
think we shall not effect much, unless we put ourselves in communication 
with the world. I have no idea that government protocols will effect the 
object we have in view. My firm conviction is, that the moral power of this 
body, if we work it out as we ought to do, will be felt hy France, by Spain, 
and by our own Government. If you do not utterly fail in your object, you 
will commence a process of illumination which will tend ultimately to achieve 
that triumph at which we are all aiming. 

SAMUEL SOUTHALL, Esq. (of Leominster).— I came here with the in- 
tention of not speaking if I could avoid it; hut I do fear that if we adopt 
the plan now proposed, we shall in some degree he listening to expediency. 
If I understand it, the first thing proposed to he recommended, is a system of 
registration, that is to say, a system for the modification of slavery. I admit 
that the object is in itself exceedingly good, bnt I think it is not likely to be 
carried into effect. I merely wish to call the attention of the Convention to 
this point, that we should do nothing which can in any way compromise our 
principles. 

Rev. N. COLVER— I feel reluctant to speak, yet I am constrained to say 
that the sentiments uttered hy that brother, are those which have passed in 
my own mind. If the entire recommendation of Mr. Tttrnbull should be 
carr'ed into effect, what will be the result ? To say the least, a system of 
registration will be gone into, and if anything be effected by it, it will occupy 
a series of years to accomplish it. Now, while we have put forth our voice, 
demanding in the name of heaven and righteousness, full and unconditional 
emancipation, may it not be said, if we adopt such a measure as this, they did 
not expect that voice to be heard ; they have themselves suggested measures, 
for its continuance for a season ? I feel that there may be a compromise of the 
great principles on which we have set out in making this movement. If the 
Spanish government are disposed to ameliorate the condition of their slaves, 
let them do it on their own responsibility. We should go for immediate 
emancipation and that alone ; let us not peril our great object. 

Dr. BOWRING— The reference to a committee does not imply an approval 
of the course recommended upon the authority of my friend who is labouring 
with us in the promotion of our great object. If his views are correct, and 
effect can be given to his plans, we shall finally and completely eman- 
cipate multitudes of slaves. Supposing there are in the Spanish colonies 
50,000 or 60,000 slaves wrongfully detained in bondage, do we not further 
the object we have at heart by effecting their deliverance ? But even if this 
were not the case, may not this committee be charged to consider whether 
this project is compatible with the great principle upon which this Convention 
acts ? I confess, the difficulties I feel are great. I wish I could anticipate so 
much concurrence on the part of the Spanish authorities, as to lead to the 
loosening of the chains of so many of our fellow-men ; hut I cannot indulge 
that hope. There are, however, individuals whose judgment I honour, who 
think that the plan is worthy of attention, and therefore we ought not hastily 



mm 



261 

to reject it. We ought not to decide a priori and without examination, that 
there is in the scheme itself a violation of the principles on which the Conven- 
tion is acting. It docs not appear that the objections to a committee are of 
sufficieut weight to induce us to refuse inquiry into proposals emanating from 
the zeal and knowledge of our friend. 

FRANCIS BARKER, Esq. (of Pontefract).— We are met from all parts of 
this country, and many parts of the world, to secure, if possible, universal 
liberty, immediate emancipation ; and to this position we must adhere. If we 
begin to enter on minor questions, they will be endless ; and we shall injure 
ourselves on the grand question on which we are assembled. Our only 
hope of success is in keeping to the great principle on which we have 
set out. Without our issuing a definite motion on the subject, the Com- 
mittee of the British and Eoreigu Anti-Slavery Society can do, as they have 
often done before, communicate with the government, or adopt measures for 
bringing the case before foreign powers, which will answer every end. I 
would not have obtruded myself on the Convention, had I not feared that our 
principles were in danger. 

Bev. J. KENNEDY.— It has struck me during the course of this discussion, 
that there are mistakes operating on the minds of those who oppose Mr. 
Tuhnbull's plan, on the ground of principle. First, they seem to regard it 
as a plan for the abolition of slavery, instead of the slave-trade. Mr. Tuhn- 
bull's design is simply to render the possession of slaves insecure, and thereby 
diminish the stimulus of high profits which at present renders the slave-trade 
so frightfully extensive. I do not pronounce any opinion as to its ultimate 
success ; but where is the departure from principle, or the resort to mere 
expediency in such a measure ? Then, a word to which we all attach impor- 
tance, seems to operate injuriously on the minds of some of our friends — the 
word " immediate." We are all averse to anything gradual in schemes for 
the abolition of slavery ; but we must not be led away by terms. We do not 
expect that our voice will immediately, in the moment of its utterance, break 
the manacles of the slave. We call upon governments immediately to eman- 
cipate their slaves, because it is their duty. But wc know that they will not 
do it at once, and we only hope, ultimately, to bring them to the discharge 
of their duty. The means we employ will, in this respect, be necessarily but 
gradual in producing their effect ; but no one supposes that we compromise 
the right of the slave to be emancipated to-day, because we labour to emanci- 
pate him twelve months hence. Now, we have only to ascertain in what 
respects there is anything gradual in the operation of Mr. Tube-bull's plan, to 
see that it involves no violation of the doctrines we hold on the subject, of un- 
conditional and immediate freedom. It does not abolish the slave-trade by a 
stroke. It does not banish the man-trader at once, and for ever from the 
coasts of Africa. But if it shall lessen the demand for his stolen goods by 
rendering the possession of them insecure, it will contribute materially to 
the destruction of the trade ; and in this, its leading design, our views of 
immediate emancipation have no beariug upon it at all. Then as to its opera- 
tion, in leading to the positive abolition of slavery itself, we may draw an 
illustration from the South American states. It is our desire that all these 
states should at one and- the same time, and that immediately, emancipate 
all their slaves. But if we heard that from the adoption of some parti- 
cular measure, in itself lawful, a number of individuals, in a few of the states, 
had either voluntarily, or under the compulsion of the law. emancipated 



^mmmmmmmm 



262 

their slaves, we should rejoice in the fact, even though thousands still 
remained iu bondage. Apply this to the case . in hand. Mr. Turnbull finds 
a multitude of slaves in a certain place, he says these are entitled to their 
' immediate freedom ; but the alleged owners will not grant it. He then says, 
many of these slaves, as I can prove by their very faces, have been brought 
into this place illegally within a certain period, if you will not grant me the 
immediate and entire abolitiou of slavery throughout your couutry, I beg 
and claim that this portion of your bondsmen may at once be loosed from 
their chains. Such seems to me to be Mr. Tuhnbull's plan, and whether 
practicable or not, it involves no principle which is not in obvious harmouy 
with our acknowledged and established doctrines. 

The CHAIRMAN.— It would be exceedingly improper for me as Chairman 
to take part in any discussion ; but I trust I shall not be exceeding proper 
limits, if I say that I think it is only due to Mr. Turnbull that the subject 
should go to a committee. 

The resolution was then put and earned unanimously. 
Mr. J. BACKHOUSE.— I have to present the Report of the committee 
on the volume of American papers. We think they are too valuable 
to be lost. I hope you will adopt the resolution I now beg to move, aud I. 
• trust that the publication committee will not expunge any part without 
being thoroughly satisfied of the propriety of that measure. I move 

That the replies to queries of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery 
Soeiety on slavery in the United States, furnished by the Committee of 
the Ameriean Anti-Slavery Soeiety, eontaining most valuable and very 
important information, be now reeeived, and referred to the publication 
eommittee, to publish the whole, or sueh parts as they may deem 
expedient. 

Mr. "W. D. CREWDSON seeonded the resolution, whieh was put and 
agreed to unanimously. 

Dr. BOWRINC— The sub-committee appointed to consider what reso- 
lutions should be proposed to the Convention, on the subject of slavery in 
Mohammedan countries, suggest that the following be adopted. 

That the present moment, when the European powers are exercising 
so great an influenee on the affairs of the Ottoman Empire, is peeuliarly 
favourable to the intervention for the suppression of slavery in the 
regions of the East; and that a memorial be presented to Loud 
Viscount Palmehston, entreating his Loedship's assistance in obtaining 
sueh declarations from the Sultan, as are likely to lead to the entire 
suppression of slavery in the eountries subjeeted to the Sultan's govern- 
That this meeting has learnt with deep interest, the measures 
adopted by the Viceroy of Egypt, for the suppression of the abominable 
slave-hunts by his Highness's troops, and espeeially the declaration of 



mm 



his wish to aid in bringing about the extinction of slavery. That tlie 
thanks of this meeting be communicated to him, with the assurance 
that the friends of civilization throughout the world, will hail with 
delight every step taken by the Viceroy, in furtherance of his just and 
generous purposes ; whether by impeding the importation of, and the 
traffic in, slaves, by .the encouragement of agricultural productions in 
central and eastern Africa, by the abolition of the slave market in his 
dominions, or by any other legitimate and pacific measures which 
may facilitate the manumission of slaves, and the entire overthrow of 
slavery. 

I stated in the address which I had the honour to submit to you yesterday, 
that there can he no douht a great deal of religious influence still attaches to 
the Caliphat ; that there ;'never was a period in which that influence was so 
likely to he well and happily directed, as at the present moment ; that there 
never was a period in which the affairs of the Ottoman Empire were so much 
in the hands of Christian powers. And, I believe, they cannot exercise their 
influence more beneficially than in endeavouring to obtain from the Grand 
Seignior, some declarations grounded on the Mohammedan law, aud pointing 
to the abolition of slavery as a religious duty. This would be a noble result 
of that great influence they have obtained in the direction of the policy of the 
Sultan. I endeavoured, in explaining the religious position of the Sultan, in 
the eyes of the Mussulmans in the East, to show that it greatly resembled 
that of the Pope in the West ; and knowing that considerable effect has been 
produced among Catholic nations, by a hull which has lately emanated from 
his Holiness, I desire that an Ottoman hull should in the same spirit also be 
issued, which is now attainable, and cannot be without great influence in the 
Mohammedan world. The second resolution refers to the state, of things in 
Egypt. I am desirous that the Convention should give encouragement to the 
Viceroy of Egypt to continue that course which he has begun ; and that 
public opinion, for which he has great respect, and to whose influence he is 
perpetually referring, .should reach him in an emphatic shape, telling him that 
the eyes of the civilized world are upon his conduct, and that if he lend his 
assistance aud co-operation in furthering our great work, it will add to his 
name a distinction, a reputation, and a glory, more brilliant than any of his 
victories have ever obtained for him. It is known to the Convention that a 
Parliamentary document exists, in which it is stated, that the Pacha declared 
to our Consul General, in an interview at which I had the honour of being 
present, that he had heard with sorrow of the miseries caused by the existence 
of slavery and the slave-trade ; and that he desired that an end should be put 
to the slave-hunts. I may be allowed to state,, that the present minister of 
public instruction, Edhem Bey, whose name has been honourably mentioned 
in Parliament, and with whose person some of my friends around me are 
acquainted, gave me an assurance that he hoped the day would come when 
he should build a school on the locality now occupied as a slave-market. 

Kcv. T. SCALES.— I request to have the honour of moving the adoption 
of the resolutions brought up as a report by Dr. Bowring. 

Mr. J. BACKHOUSE.— I beg to second it. 

Rev J. ACWORTH, A.M. (of Bradford).— I have nothing to add to 



mmmmmmm 



264 

what Dr. Bo wring has so appropriately uttered. I believe it is well known 
to most of the members of the Convention, that we may anticipate success 
from this measure, as largely and as speedily as from any other whieh the 
Convention has adopted, or is likely to adopt : for I believe it is a pretty well 
known faet, that the Pacha of Egypt is as favourable to liberal measures as 
most of the Christian governments to which we are making appeals. He 
has, I believe, at this momeut youths in eertain parts of the British Empire, 
supported at his own expense, for the express purpose of learning our 
seiences and arts. I lately eame in eontaet with one of these youths, from 
whom I learned that the Pacha was extremely desirous of standing favourably 
with the English people. 

The resolution was then put and agreed to. 

Rev. T. SCALES. — The resolutions which have been carried eontain a 
recommendation that a memorial should be drawn up, and that the thanks 
of the meeting should be given to the Viceroy of Egypt. I beg therefore to 

That the resolutions just passed having recommended the preparation 
of a memorial founded on them, the subject be referred to the same com- 
mittee, to prepare the memorial and appeal referred to- 

Mr. J. BACKHOUSE, seconded the motion, which was put and 
agreed to 

Eev. J. ACWOBTH.— I rise for the purpose of moving, 

That a committee consisting of "William Forster, and J. T„ 
Piuce, Esquires, with the mover and seconder, be appointed to prepare 
a memorial to Government, deprecating and strongly reprobating the 
holding of slaves by British functionaries abroad. 

We have been preferring requests and presenting memorials to our own 
Government to use their best influenee with foreign powers, for the sup- 
pression and extinction of slavery all over the globe. It is of the very first 
importance that our own Government should stand pure in the eyes of foreio-n 
nations, in regard to the matter in question ; and it is impossible that they 
ean do so, so long as the functionaries they employ are slave-owners. It is 
therefore the business of the Convention, to memorialize Government that 
these functionaries be properly dealt with. 

Dr. MADDEN. — Mr. Acwokth says it is improper that a British 
functionary should be a slave-holder ; lie might have said, that any British ' 
functionary in a Spanish colony should be a slave-dealer, beeause no slave- 
holder ean keep up a sufficient number of labourers by natural increase, he 
must be an annual purchaser in the slave-market, and consequently every 
slave-holder is a slave-dealer. 

JAMES STANFIELD, Esq. (of Belfast).— I seeond the resolution. 

Mr. TURNBULL. — I have seen the evils attendant on the system of British 
functionaries holding slaves. I therefore support the motion. 

The resolution was then put and agreed to. 

Mr. E. ALLEN.— I beg to move, 

That Thomas Swan, Captain Moohsom, Dr. Madden, Peter Clare, 
Isaac CreWdson, J. H. Tredgold, E. Peek, J. G. Birney, W. 



MH 



Forstek, W. Smjjal, Gborqb Bradbtjrn, D. Turnbull, J. C. Fuller, 
and John Murray, be appointed a committee to inquire 

1. Whether manacles for slaves are manufactured in this country ? 

2. Whether large quantities of inferior fire-arms are also manu- 
factured in Great Britain, to he sold to the Africans for their slave wars? 

3. Whether cotton goods of a particular fabric and to a large amount 
are manufactured in this country, and solely intended for being used in 
barter for African slaves? 

4. Whether persons in England hold shares in Brazilian and other 
mines which are worked by slaves ? 

5. Whether any British Joint Stock Banks have branch establish- 
ments in countries in which the slave-trade prevails ? 

6. What are the quantities of gunpowder exported from any port or 
ports in Great Britain to Africa and other parts of the world, respec- 
tively ? 

I am very glad to have an opportunity of moving the appointment of a com- 
mittee to investigate this branch of the subject. I have long been of opinion 
that while we were speaking strongly against those abroad who are connected 
with slavery, we, ourselves, as a nation, were not entirely clear of the guilt. 
I believe that we must try and root out all participation in it. This is more 
particularly necessary now that we are going to call on Americau churches 
and others to take strong measures against slave-holders. I wish also to bear 
my testimony to the warm and active co-operation which the Hibernian 
Anti-Slavery Committee have received from Dr. Madden, since his return to 
his native country. He has more than once left his family in Dublin to visit 
differeut parts of the country, with a view to arouse them on behalf of the 
slave. I also wish to call attention to the particular position in which Ireland 
stands with regard to American slavery. There is an immense number of 
my countrymen annually emigrating to America, and it appears that they 
generally go out in complete iguorance of their duty, as regards the anti- 
slavery cause. And what is the consequence % They very readily become 
inoculated with the slave-holding spirit. If the Convention aid us in disse- 
minating a right anti-slavery spirit in Ireland, it will exercise a powerful 
influence in assisting our American friends in abolishing slavery. 

Eev. J. H. HINTON, M. A.— I beg to second the motion ; it is one to 
which I attach the utmost importance. It is, undoubtedly, a fact of which 
evidence may be obtained, that all the things alluded to in the resolution 
take place ; and that the slave-trade is at this hour actually maintained by 
British capital. There is no question about it. It has been stated upon 
authority, that there are in this city sleeping partners in the mercantile 
houses of Cuba ; and these traitors to humanity are the main pillars of slavery 
and the slave-trade. If we could only get at the names of these men, they 
deserve to be immortalized. An immortality of infamy belongs to them. 
They ought to be exhibited to universal execration. If there be any mem- 
bers of the Society of Friends conuected with colonial banks, which uphold and 
assist in carrying on the slave-trade, lot them bear the full share of the public 



odium that belongs to them. These are the men who paralyze our hopes and 
expose us to the taunts of the slave-owner. Slave-owners in the Brazils and 
at Cuba laugh at us, while they can have British capital to support them in 
carrying on the slave-trade. I trust the iuquiry will be extended to the 
quantity of gunpowder exported. I have a return from Liverpool, -which 
shows, that by far the larger quantity of gunpowder shipped from that port 
last year was sent to Africa, no doubt for the purposes of the slave-trade. I have 
reason to know that one colonial bauk has a branch at Puerto Rico ; and will 
establish another if it can at Cuba, where the current interest of money is 
12 per cent. People are thus betrayed into a support of the slave-trade ; and 
ladies and gentlemen, widows and orphans, are deriving a large return for 
their money embarked in these banks, through this atrocious system. 

Mr. JOSEPH STURGE.— I believe it must be one great object of this 
Convention to drag out these atrocities to public light. 

Mr. W. FORSTER.— I attach great importance to this resolution ; but 
I fear that the branches of the inquiry are too numerous. I do not 
know whether, if it could be divided into two or three committees, the 
work would not be more effectually done. It is a particular satisfaction to 
me, that persons in this country holding slaves in Brazilian operations, 
have been brought before the Convention. It does appeal- to me, that almost 
every one of the miuing companies is guilty of the sin of slave-holding. 

Mr. FULLER.— The inquiry ought not to be limited to Birmingham, which 
appears to be the intention, whereas it should take in the district of Sheffield, 
from whence the bowie knife is sent to New York, which has inscribed on 
it, " Death to abolitionists." 

_ Dr. GREVILLE.— I think it would be a great pity to divide this resolu- 
tion ; but at the same time it is quite clear that its object cannot be attained 
during the sittings of the Convention, and I, therefore, think that it had better 
be left in the hands of the Committee of the British and Foreign Anti- 
Slavery Society. I think it desirable that there should be no limitation, but 
that the inquiry should be as extensive as possible. I consider it a point of 
so much importance, that if the motion had not been previously seconded, I 
should have felt honoured in doing it. 

Mr. TURNBULL.— I am desirous of stating a fact, which, not long ago, 
fell uuder my notice. I had put into my hands the copy of a balance sheet 
of one of these miniug companies, most of the shareholders of which reside 
in this city. In that balance sheet the chief item was £45,000 charged for 
" live stock," which must meau men, women, and children. 
A DELEGATE.— Are you quite sure it refers to men ? 
Mr. TURNBULL — I have not the slightest doubt of it. The animals to 
carry the copper are hired. 

Captain MOORSOM.— I think it would be advisable to refer it to the 
Auxiliary Anti-Slavery Societies to make these inquiries, they can report to 
the Committee of the Parent Society, who can render the information thus 
obtained available for general purposes. A full report could not be made 
during the sitting of the Convention. 
Rev. T. SWAN.— I fully concur in the sentiments advanced by Captain 

MOORSOM. 

Mr. W. FORSTER.— The committee now proposed to be appointed might 
bring in a resolution for the adoption of the Convention, referring the subject 
to the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. 



267 

JAMES HAUGHTON, Esq. (of Dublin).-If the committee arrive at an 
affirmative conclusion, they may suggest to the Convention the best mode of 
turning the information acquired to a practical result. I fear that the mere 
expression of indignation will have little effect upon the nnnds of those who 
are so base as to be engaged in the traffic. I hope some plan wiU be adopted 
of so bringing the matter to b ear on their minds, that they will be induced 
to give up this shameful business. . 

The CHAIRMAN.-I would refer it to a committee m the first instance to 

Rev T SCALES.— Should a committee be appointed, some of the Ame- 
rican 'delegates should be placed upon it. Many of the evils have 
come under their notice, and they would assist greatly in ferreting out the 

° Mr W. MORGAN.— I believe that Glasgow is involved in the sin to the 
extent of £60,000 per annum. On inquiry of a man in Birmingham what 
was his trade, he told me, « a dog-collar maker ;» but I have reason to believe 
they were negro collars which came upon his anvil. 

Mr STACEY — I presume the proposed committee is not to be an exe- 
cutive body, but to collect and furnish information which may throw some 
light on the subject. 

The resolution was then put and agreed to, and the Convention 
adjourned. 



jr felt 



SIXTH DAY'S SITTINGS, THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 1840. 
(MORNING). 
JOSEPH STURGE, Esq., in the Chair. 
The CHAIRMAN—Perhaps I maybe permitted to say, that I n-.~ . 
myself more out of place than on the last occasion when I occupied this 
Chair- I trust that I shall receive the kind indulgence of my friends , O-day 
inasmuch as the question which was then agitated is again tc ,b biought 
before us I have no wish to discourage any necessary discussion on the 
resolutions which will be brought up ; but as the subject has already been 
X fully considered, I trust that our friends who may address the Conven- 
tion wm be as brief in the expression of their sentiments as circumstances 
wiU admit. There are some very important questions 7* £°™ *££**> 
and there are many gentlemen here whose time is exceedingly valuable, i 
hone S if I should appear in the course of the day to press points of order, 
I shall receive the support of the Convention. Hithcrto-and I wi 1 take my 
fuSshai-cof tue blam'e-Ido not think we have paid sufficient attention to 
that subject. 

The minutes of the previous day having been read and eonfirmed, 

Rev. J. A. JAMES brought up the following report : 

The Committee to whom was referred the paper of Mr. Godwin, 
" On the Essential Sinfulness of Slavery," with instructions to prepare 



resolutions thereon, taking " the resolutions of the Rev. Charles 
Stotbl " as the basis, take leave respeetfully to reeommend to the Con- 
vention the adoption of the following : — i 

1. That the paper of the Rev. B. Godwin, " On the Essential Sinful- 
ness of Slavery," be reeommended to the Committee of the British and 
Foreign Anti-slavery Soeiety for publication. 

2. That it is the deliberate and deeply-rooted eonviction of this 
Convention, which it thus publicly and solemnly expresses to the 
world, that slavery, in whatever form, or in whatever eountry it exists, 
is eontrary to the eternal and immutable prineiples of justiee, and the 
spirit and preeepts of Christianity; and is, therefore, a sin against God, 
whieh aequires additional enormity when eommitted by nations pro- 
fessedly Christian, and in an age when the subject has been so generally 
diseussed, and its criminality so thoroughly exposed. 

3. That this Convention eannot but deeply deplore the faet, that the 
continuance and prevalenee of slavery are to be attributed in a great 
degree, to the countenance afforded by many Christian ehurches, espe- 
cially in the Western world, whieh have not only withheld that publie 
andemphatie testimony against the erirne whieh it deserves, but have 
retained in their eommunion without eensure, those by whom it is 
notoriously perpetrated. 

^ 4. That this Convention, while it disclaims the intention or desire of 
dictating to Christian eommunities, the terms of their fellowship, 
respeetfully, yet urgently recommeuds them to eonsider, whether it is 
not their ineumbeut duty to separate from their communion, all those 
persons who, after they have been faithfully warned, eontinue in the sin 
of enslaving their fellow-ereatures, or holding them in slavery ; a sin, 
by the eommission of whieh, with whatever mitigating eireumstances 
it may be attended in their own particular instance, they give the 
support of their example to the whole system of eompulsory servitude, 
and the unutterable horrors of the slave-trade. 

5. That it be reeommended to the Committee of the British and 
Foreign Anti-Slavery Soeiety, in the name of this Convention, to 
furnish eopies of the above resolutions to the eeelesiasticaf authorities 
of the various Christian churehes throughout the world. 

Rev. J. H. JOHNSON.-As a clergyman of the Established Church of 
this country, I feel a very deep interest in this question, and I hope, that 
after the discussion which has taken place, we shall unanimously come to the 
determination, that so far, at least, as wc are coneerned, we will give no 



sanction, directly or indirectly, to slavery in any shape or form. But Before 
I proceed to move the adoption of the report which has been brought up, 
allow me to read a letter from Judge Jay of New York, addressed to J. G. 
Birney, Esq., on the duties of ministers of religion in reference to this 
subject. My principal reason for reading it is, Judge Jay is an Episcopalian, 
and says, that slavery has tainted his church. As an Episcopalian myself, 
I am ashamed of that church, and would not for one moment give the right 
hand of fellowship to any American clergyman who is in any way identified 
with this system. I fear that I shall occupy your time longer than I ought, 
but the letter is of great importance, and therefore with your permission, I 
will read it verbatim. 

New York, March 28, 1840. 

My Dear Sir, — I have been favoured -with your offieial notice of 
my appointment to represent the Ameriean Anti-Slavery Society, in the 
General Anti-Slavery Conference of Delegates from different parts of 
the world, to be held in London, in June next. 

Please, Sir, to present to the Committee of your Society, my acknow- 
ledgments for this mark of their eonfidenee, and assure them of the 
high gratification it would afford me to unite in eouneil with the philan- 
thropists of vaiious climes and nations, for the abolition of slavery and 
the slave-trade. But there are domestie and other duties which havo 
a paramount claim on my time, and whieh deny me the pleasure of 
aecepting tbe appointment with whieh I have been honoured. 

You will, I am confident, exeuse me if, on fin oeeasion like the 
present, I take the liberty of offering a few suggestions for the conside- 
ration of the Committee. The proposed Conference may, and I trust 
will, in various ways, exereise a most salutary influence on the abolition 
question generally, without in the least interfering with the sovereignty 
and independence of the several nations to whieh its members belong. 
No Ameriean in that body could, with propriety, sanetion measures in 
any way derogatory to the rights of his own Government ; and I have 
no apprehension that any sueh measures will be proposed. 

The action of the Conference is to be of a moral nature, and its influ- 
ence is to be that of opinion. This is an age in whieh Governments, as 
well as individuals, are amenable to public opinion, whether foreign 
or domestie. We ourselves have been instrumental in eommeneing a 
mighty temperance reform in Great Britain, and have reeeived the 
thanks of the present youthful and interesting oceupant of the Throne, 
for plaeing our publieations in her hands. May the people of Great 
Britain reciprocate our good offices, by uniting with the intended 



270 

Conference, in bringing the opinion of Europe to press heavily upon 
American slavery. There are various ways in which this may be legi- 
timately effected. I will only allude to the influence the Conference 
may exert through the church in this country. 

That the American church is the great buttress of American slavery, 
is a fact no less certain than it is deplorable. The great mass of our 
clergy seem to acknowledge, in relation to this subject, the impious 
maxim, "Vox populi, Vox Dei." You know that in 1835, the slave- 
holders of Charleston, after sacking the Post-office, and burning the 
anti-slavery publications found in it, voted at a public meeting their 
thanks "to the Reverend Gentlemen of the Clergy, who have so 
promptly and so effectually responded to the public sentiment, by sus- 
pending their schools in which the free-coloured population were taught ; 
and that this meeting deem it a patriotic action worthy of all praise, 
and proper to be imitated by the other teachers of similar schools 
throughout the state." 

And so these ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ, crouching before a 
wicked and cruel public sentiment, tamely relinquished a right conferred 
on them by the laws of God and man, and expelled from their Sunday 
schools all their pupils with black skins, literally driving these lambs 
of their flock out of the church, to perish upon the world's bleak 
moor. 

Among the various denominations which arc distinguished for their 
earnest endeavours to " keep abolition out of the church," and caste 
and slavery in it, that to which I myself belong, the Protestaut 
Episcopal Church, holds a prominent, but I rejoice to say, not the 
chief place. 

I beg leave to ask your attention to some facts respecting this church, 
for a purpose to be presently stated. 

Bishop Bowen, of Charleston, South Carolina, fully partaking of the 
spirit of " the Reverend Gentlemen of the Clergy" of that city, volun- 
teered, not long after the meeting already mentioned, in an address to 
the Convention of his diocese, a denunciation of the " malignant philan- 
thropy of abolition," and contrasted " the savageism and outlawry " 
consequent on abolition, with " domestic servitude under the benign 
influence of Christian principles and Christian institutions !" principles 
and institutions which denied Sunday School instruction to free-coloured 
children, and which, at the very time of the address., tolerated the offer 



271 
in the Charleston Courier, of fifty dollars for the head of a fugitive 
slave ; principles and institutions which led Mr. Preston to declare in 
his place, as Senator of the United States, " Let an aholitionist come 
within the borders of South Carolina ;— if we can catch him wo will 
hang him." Against the " savageism and outlawry" of slavery, the 
good Bishop did not think it expedient to raise his voice. 

In 1836, a Clergyman in North Carolina, of the name of Freeman, 
preached, in the presence of his Bishop, two sermons on the rights and 
duties of slave-holders. In these, he essayed to justify from the Bihle, 
the slavery hoth of white men and of negroes ; and insisted, that with- 
out a new revelation from heaven, no man was authorised to pronounce 
slavery "wrong;" and that while masters ought to instruct their slaves 
in religion, it was not necessary to teach them to read the Bible. The 
sermons were printed in a pamphlet, prefaced with a letter to Freeman 
from the Bishop of North Carolina, declaring that he had " listened with 
most unfeigned pleasure" to his discourses, and advising their publica- 
tion as being " urgently called for at the present time." The em-cathedra 
proclamation of the divine right of slave-holders, must have heen 
exceedingly grateful to the owners of human chattels throughout the 
diocese, and tended strongly to attach them to the Episcopal Church. 
This high and authoritative sanction of slavery was too important to be 
enjoyed exclusively by a single diocese. " The Protestant Episcopal 
Society for the advancement of Christianity in South Carolina;' thought 
it expedient, and unquestionably with Bishop Bowen's approbation, to 
re-publish Freeman's pamphlet as a religious tract ! Thus did these 
Carolina 'Churchmen seek to advance Christianity, by fortifying an 
institution, which, by converting human beings into merchandise, opens 
a market for the sale of men, women, and children j necessarily annihi- 
lates marriage ; abrogates the rights of conscience ; seals up the volume 
of inspiration ; and practically establishes Heathenism among about one- 
third of the whole population of the slave states. That the church at 
the north is far from guiltless of countenancing and fostering the abomi- 
nation of desolation, is evident from two striking facts, among others : 
first, that the Bishop of North Carolina, who so gratuitously and 
unqualifiedly endorsed Freeman's sermons, is a native of New York, 
and had removed to the south only a few years before ; and secondly, 
the course pursued by the New York Churchman. This periodical is 
edited by a Doctor of Divinity, late an instructor in our theological 



272 

seminary, and it enjoys the especial patronage of the Bishop of this 
dioecse, and was recently officially recommended by him to the favour of 
the Convention. Yet has the editor frequently assailed the abolitionists 
in his columns, in bitter and contemptuous terms. He has even v olun- 
teered to defend the most cruel and iniquitous enactments of the Slave 
Code. In reference to the legal prohibition of teaching the coloured 
population to read, the editor says : — " All the knowledge which is 
necessary to salvation, all the knowledge of our duty toward God, and 
our duty toward our neighbour, may be communicated by oral instruc- 
tion ; and therefore a law of the land interdicting other means of 
instruction, does not trench upon the law of God." That is, because a 
blind man may acquire a knowledge of Christian truth, provided he has 
kind friends, with intelligence and leisure to instruct him; there- 
fore it is no violation of God's law to say to three millions of 
our fellow-countrymen, " Ye shall not search the Scriptures :" no 
impiety in southern legislators, to shroud in darkness the souls of 
nearly one-third of their population ! You know we are often rebuked 
for our agitation, by the assurance that the preaching of the Gospel 
is the legitimate and effectual instrument for destroying slavery ; but 
surely the poor slaves have small cause to look for their emancipation 
from the Gospel, when preached by such men as those I have now 
mentioned. 

It is not, however, the slam alone, who finds in the Episcopal Church, 
Right Reverend, and other apologists of his wrongs. The persecuted 
and despised free man of colour feels his degradation, both sanctioned 
and deepened by members of the same Church. I am crediblyinformed 
that a certain congregation in this diocese, holds its cemetery by a tenure 
which forbids the interment in it of any coloured person ; so that should 
an Episcopal coloured clergyman happen to die in that parish, he would 
be indebted to others than his Christian brethren for a grave ! 

But what is this indignity to the lifeless remains of a fellow-man, 
to the insult offered in the name of the whole Church, by the Trustees 
of the Theological Seminary, to eveiy coloured disciple of the Redeemer? 
You are aware that I allude to the formal, deliberate exclusion of Mr. 
CiiOTiMELL, a eandidate for holy orders, from the Seminary, solely and 
avowedly on account of his dark complexion. 

But this is not all. There are instanees of regularly ordained 
Ministers, Rectors of Parishes, men having as valid a 



■MHMHMHHH 



preach the Gospel, as any other Presbyters in our Church, who are 
virtually denied a seat in our Ecclesiastical Councils, solely because 
they are not of the orthodox hue. The Rector of a coloured Church 
in Philadelphia, is excluded by an express canon of the Diocesan 
Convention. 

My object in troubling you with these details, is to show the 
propriety of taking measures to bring fully before the London Con- 
ference the action of the Episcopal Church in behalf of slavery and of 

Would it not be well for the Committee to cause all the publications 
relative to Mr. Crummell's exclusion from the Seminary, together with 
Freeman's sermons, and the commendatory letter of his Bishop, to be 
laid before that body ? 

These documents may then, through the printed proceedings of the 
Conference, be brought to the consideration of the British and Irish 
Bishops, and of the Divines generally of the Established Church. No 
portion of our whole community is so sensitive to foreign influence, as 
is the Episcopal Church here to the opiuion of the Church of England. 
The reception here given to the Oxford Theology, fully confirms this 
assertion. From the documents I have mentioned, the Established 
Church would learn with astonishment the conduct of her daughter ; 
and be assured that all the reproofs of American abolitionists, will fall 
powerless on the ears of the daughter, compared with the reproaches of 
the mother. Let the doors of the Archiepiscopal Palace of Lambeth be 
closed against pro-slavery Bishops and Clergymen from this country ; 
let the Oxford divines refuse to acknowledge as true churchmen, men 
who would measure the rights of an Ambassador of Jesus Christ, by 
the tincture of his skin ; and we shall have no more decrees from our 
Bishops and Clergy, forbidding a coloured candidate for orders from 
listening to a theological lecture in the same room with young gentle- 
men of high caste ; no more exclusion of coloured Clergymen from our 
Conventions ; no more Episcopal sanctions of slavery. 

In justice to myself, permit me to observe, that in my opinion, the 
Clergy have full right to decide for themselves on the expediency of 
joining an Anti-Slavery Association; and that it also belongs to them 
to determine how and when they will bear their testimony against 
the pollutions and abominations of slavery. But I do hope that the 
intended Conference will bring down upon such as are guilty, the 



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274 

f the Christian world, for their wanton and gratuitous perver- 
sion of their sacred office in -vindicating, as the ministers of a holy and 
merciful God, such a stupendous system of iniquity and cruelty, as 
American slavery ; and for giving their high and official sanction to the 
most revolting form, in which the wicked prejudice against colour 
exhibits itself; in insulting and degrading the Christian ministry, and 
in erecting the barriers of easte in the church of Him who was 
anointed to preach the Gospel to the poor, and sent to heal the broken- 
hearted, and preach deliveranee to the captives, and recovery of sight to 
the blind, to set at liberty them that are bound. 

I rejoice to know that there are bishops and clergymen in the Episcopal 
Church to whom my remarks have no application, and also that this 
Church, as a whgle, has been less active in defending slavery than 
several others. Those others, I trust, will not be forgotten by the 
Committee. Let their conduct on this subject be made known to the 
London Conference, and through it to the world. I anticipate very 
salutary results from bringing upon the pro-slavery Church of this 
country, the reproaches of Christendom. 

Kegarding, as I do, the Christian ministry as one of the best and 
greatest gifts of God to a fallen world, most thankful shall I be to foreign 
Christians for their efforts to awaken our clergy, to the great truth, 
that it is their holy office to promote love, and peace, and righteousness 
among men; and that they most grievously mistake their mission, 
when, in the name of their Divine Master, they pronounce his bene- 
diction on the bondage, ignorance, and degradation of any portion of 
the human family. I am, my dear sir, your's very truly, 

"William Jay. 
To James G. Birney, Corresponding Secretary of the American 
Anti-Slavery Society. 

I most cordially agree with every word in that letter. I am perfectly 
horrified that any one should stand forth hefore the Christian world, and 
declare that slavery is sanctioned by the New Testament. If that fact 
could be established, we might as well return home at once to our several 
occupations, nay better, than attempt to overturn what God has sanctioned. 
But, further, we are told that there is a difference between the slavery of the 
present day, and that which prevailed during the labours of the apostles, that 
the latter was right, that the former is wrong. What was the condition of 
slaves in former times 2 Take the following instances of their situation ; they 
were held pro nullis, pro mortuis, pro quadrupedibus, for no men, for dead men, 
for beasts. What was the treatment of these men ? They had no head in the 



275 

state, no name, tribe, or register ; they were not capable of being injured ; 
tliey could not take property by purchase or descent ; they had no heirs, and 
therefore could make no will. With the exception of their pecuUum, every 
thing they acquired belonged to their masters. They could not plead nor be 
pleaded ; were not eutitled to the rights of matrimony, and could consequently, 
have no relief in case of adultery ; they could be sold, transferred, or pawned 
as goods, for such they were deemed to be ; they might be tortured for 
evidence, punished whenever their masters thought proper, and even put to 
death by their sole authority. The slaves of the Greeks then were in a 
condition to the full as deplorable as those of our own times. "Will 
any oue tell me that the Apostle sanctioned slavery of this description ; 
that it is in accordance with the benign principles of the Christian faith ? 
We must have a new revelation before we can pronouuee sucb a system right. 
But let us see what the New Testament says ? Apart from my books, I must 
necessarily speak from recollection, but with perfect confidence. The 
Apostle, when speaking of those whom he describes as " disobedient, ungodly, 
unholy and profane," specifies several characters to whom he applies these 
general epithets. Mark what they are. "Murderers of fathers, and mur- 
derers of mothers, manslayers, whoremongers, them that defile themselves 
with mankind," aud theu, " meti-stealers." I will attempt to shew that our 
translators bave not given the full force of tbat word. They translate the 
word A)'Spa7roSior?7£ as referring to men-stealers only; but the reference 
here is to tbe restricted sense of the Attic law, in which the Siktj avipawolL<rjXov 
, .. . j.rosocution for the distinct crime of kidnapping, and punish- 
able by death. But the word avSpa7roSiorj;£ when used in its common and 
popular acceptation, meant a dealer in man, so that the slave-trade is 
positively and certainly condemued by name iu the New Testament. I have 
the authority of the learued Eustathius for thus explaining the word ; and I 
think I remember that Bishop HonsLEY, mauy years ago, in an eloquent speech 
on the slave-trade, made the same statement in the House of Lords. Now if 
dealers in men were placed in the same category of criminals with murderers 
of fathers, and murderers of mothers, by St. Paul, what must be the fate of 
the person who makes a market for slaves ? Can any one convince me that it 
is wrong to steal and to sell meu, but not wrong to hold and to detain men in 
bondage 2 I must take leave of common sense, to say nothing of Christian 
principle, before I can admit this for a moment. But then I am told that we 
have the Epistle to Philemon, and from thence are led to the conclusion, that 
there were those in commnnion with the Christian church who were slave- 
owners. I make no question, I never can doubt that the word AovXoi does 
mean slaves in a qualified sense, that is, those who were in a state of servitude ; 
but these must not be confounded with the slaves properly so called, becanse 
they occupied a kind of middle rank between slaves and free citizens. Slaves 
so long as they were governed by their masters, were called ok-t'rat : but 
after they obtained tbeir freedom they were termed SoCXoi, and were only 
obliged to the performance of some trifling services as a grateful acknow- 
ledgment : see Chrysippus de Concordia. In some places they farmed the land, 
and were only required to pay a moderate rent, which it was considered dis- 
graceful on the part of the proprietor to attempt to increase ; instances of which 
custom are frequent in Plutarch ; and such SoSXoi would render a grateful 
willing service. The word AovXevoj is used in the parable of the prodigal 
son, where the elder son says, " These many years do I serve thee. Is it 
T 2 



276 

slavery for a son to regard and obey the precepts of his father 1 The proba- 
bility is, that in the case of Onesimus, he was a bondman in the qualified 
sense I have mentioned. There were bondmen for a season, bondmen for 
life, bondmen to pay their debts. Men sold themselves to get out of pecuniary 
difficulties. "We find that is now the case in India. Then what right have 
we to assume that he was any thing else but a bondman for a season, if indeed 
he were a bondman at all, except as contrasted with the olnerai, and 
especially in the face of the doctrine taught by our Lord, that all men are 
brethren 1 As members of Christian communities, it is not the coloured man, 
or the white man, the poor man, or the rich man ; but " ye are all one 
in Christ Jesus." As a member of the Established Church of this country, I 
wished to read this letter from Judge Jay : and I thank you for the attention 
yon gave to it. I wish to see it in the hands of all clergymen, from the 
highest to the lowest, that whenever any one who calls himself an Episcopalian 
clergyman comes from America to this country, we may be able to ash these 
questions. Have you driven the coloured children from your schools ? Have 
you a negro pew ? Do you exclude coloured men from your burial grounds % 
Do you shut out coloured students from the ministry \ If he answers in the 
affirmative, let us rejoin, go back then to America, that is the country where 
alone you can be received. Pollute not the soil of Britain with your unholy 
feet. But I would further ask him, Is there a negro pew in heaven ? Is there 
to be a separation between coloured men and white men there ? If there be, 
the coloured man will be higher than you. These are my reasons for hoping 
that this report will be received and adopted. We dictate to no one. As an 
Episcopalian I would not submit to dictation. An Episcopalian, however, 
might raise this objection to such an exercise of church discipline —Yon 
cannot refuse a slave-holder access to the Lord's Table, provided that he is 
in other respects qualified : at least, if yon do, you will be reported to your 
Bishop. Very well ; let the report go forth. It is proper that there should, 
in our church, be control over individual pastors. But I refuse — assigning 
the reasons which I have already adduced. If the Bishop were to say, " You 
must admit him ;" I would respectfully reply, "No, my Lord, never .'" One such 
martyr as this would settle the question ; and though I am not ambitious of 
being a martyr of any kind, yet I would rather be a martyr in this than in 
almost any other cause. I leave the matter with you, hoping that if there be 
a difference of opinion, we shall not shew the slave-owner that we quarrel 
amongst ourselves. Let all be done in love. 

Mr. BIRNEY.— The writer of the letter just read is the son of the late 
John Jay, at one time Ambassador to this country from the United States, 
and afterwards appointed Chief Justice of the United States by General 
Washington. Chief Justice Jay was not more illustrious ,for his high 
professional distinction and intelleotual attainments, than for his unaffected 
Christian piety. With Franklin, and Rush, and Benezet, he is to be classed 
among the early abolitionists of America. His son William Jay, is the 
worthy offspring of such a father. At a very early period of the present 
anti-slavery movement in the United States, he connected himself with it. 
But few have rendered such important service as Mr. Jay. Besides aiding 
the anti-slavery oause liberally with contributions from his pocket, his pen 
has been employed in promoting its objects. His inquiry into the claims of 
the African Colonization Society to the support of the benevolent, did more, 
perhaps, than any other work to open their eyes to its iniquitous operation. 



277 

His view of the action of the Federal government on the subject of slavery, 
while it demonstrates the supremacy which the slave interest in the United 
States has usurped in the administration of the government, is doing much to 
bring about its overthrow. The life and writings of Chief Justice Jay, 
together with the works just mentioned, have given him a place among the 
authors of his country; whilst the confidence of his countrymen has shown 
itself, in their having conferred on him the judicial office, which he now fills. 

Rev. N. COLVER,— I do not kuow that I ever rose in my life under sensa- 
tions similar to those which at this moment possess my mind. The question 
before us has assumed a grave aspect. It is one which concerns the church 
of Christ. For a number of years, through the mercy of God, that church 
has been my home, and whatever concerns it, affects most deeply its character, 
its condition, its influence in the world ; because it is intimately conuccted 
with the honour of Him, in the merits of whose blood I hope. I enter upon 
this subject with great trembliug. I know it is expected that all the dele- 
gates from America should enter into it largely and thoroughly. We are on 
the ground, we feel its bearing, and its influence ; and its pressure has made us 
regard it as others have not regarded and felt it, who have stood at a greater 
distance from the scene of couflict. It appears to me that the anti-slavery 
world has long mistaken this subject, and that Christians have been involved 
in the error. Our conduct has resembled that of a man who would pour 
water on the fiery streams which roll down from Mount JEtna, with the view 
of quenching the burning mountain. We have been assailing the evils of 
slavery, while wc have let slavery itself alone. Till recently, we have scarcely 
assailed the root of the whole matter ; the single abstract right of the relation 
of the master to the slave, which is sanctioned by the 'slave-laws of every 
slave-holding community. We have been finding fault with abuses and with 
cruelties. Onr flesh has quivered as we have sat together, and heard the 
horrid details of the cruelty perpetrated under slavery. You may pass through 
the length and breadth of the southern states, complain of them all, and 
every slave-holder will agree with you. But then he will shrug his shoulders, 
aud throw off the blame by saying, that it attaches to his neighbour, not to 
him. However persecuting and cruel a slave-holder may be, yet having 
asserted the right of the relationship, he pleads for what he has done, as rising 
out of the necessities of the case. Hence all our reproofs have fallen power- 
less. This has recently brought us in America to fight the battle on narrow 
ground. The question is not, whether the thousand circumstances which 
surround slavery are wrong ; but whether, under any circumstances, however 
palliating, a man can hold his brother man in slavery, and not commit sin. 
When you once allow, even under the most guarded circumstances, that a 
man may continue to maintain the relationship of master to a slave, you have 
yielded all that the fiercest slave-holder asks for. I shall confine my remarks 
to one point ; the right of appeal to our churches. I trust that there will 
be no discussion on the subject, but that we shall all be agreed. There is 
no body in existence, under whose Clergy injustice is sheltered, whom it is 
not competent for the humblest individual to approach. The courteous 
language in which the resolutions are framed, will, I trust, prevent debate. 
The right of approaching clerical bodies is one question involved in the reso- 
lutions ; but the other, aud the main question is, is the holding of man as pro- 
perty, under all circumstances, a sin ? I shall uot enter into a critical er ' 
tion of particular passages of Scripture. My brethren have touched o 



278 

and gentlemen who follow may touch on others, but I shall go into the general 
argument. I hope it will he distinctly understood that I do not enter into the 
consideration of that relationship which God established between the Jew 
and his hired servant, or between the Jew and his bondsmau. Those relation- 
ships are well defined, and if I had time to go into them, I would show that 
they were arranged for the protection of the poor man, and not to enrich the 
master. The whole arrangement was a covering of the Lord thrown over 
the unfortunate. But it will be remembered, that in connexion with that law 
of Moses, another law was given ; and it was this, " he that stealeth a man 
and selleth him, or if he be fonnd in his hand,he shall surely be put to death." 
Another enactment was, that every Jew who made merchandise of his 
brother should be put to death. Now the relationship I discuss, is that 
relationship. Whatever quibbles may be raised to attempt to draw me from 
that point, there I stand ; aud if I succeed in shewing that slavery, as it now 
exists, comes under the condemnation of that law, then the curse of God will 
fall upon it ; and the relationship of servitude, which the Bible justifies, 
applies to something else, but not to the matter under the consideration of 
this Convention. Does this relationship of slave-holding come under the 
term, "man-theft?" By the Congress of the United States a law was 
passed making it piracy to take a man in any way from the shores of 
Africa, or any other shores, except our own, and bring him into the country 
for merchandize, for the purposes of slavery. It was constituted felony, 
and the penalty of death was annexed to "the crime. And, why 2 For the 
same reason that South Carolina has her law ; for she would refer to the 
Bible if she could, which says, that every man who steals a man shall be put 
to death. Now, if you, Sir, should go into South Carolina, and buy a man, a 
man of promising intellect, and take him into the free states, educate him, 
and throw around him the blessings of Christianity, a South Caroliner would 
follow and arrest you, and before a jury of South Carolina men you would be 
put on your trial for life and death, for stealing the man. They would not 
hang you for stealing 400 or 500 dollars' worth of property ; but if under the 
circumstances I have mentioned, yon purchase a man, they will carry the 
extreme sentence of the law into execution. Now, whence originated 
slavery 2 Somebody stole the man at first ; and I care not, though he has 
passed 10,000 bills of sale, every one who has attempted to give a title in 
him has given a thief's title ; and I have yet to learn, that a felonious title 
by transfer becomes virtuous aud valid. If, then, I could get a slave-holder 
before a South Carolina jury, and they would be honest to their oath, they 
would hang every slave-holder in the land. They hold unto that title, and 
it is man-theft. When we talk of slavery, what is the relation 2 It is not that 
of master and servant merely ; to that we object not. What is it 2 It is not 
starving a mau, or withholding wages from the labourer ; that is not slavery. 
I doubt not but that mauy are guilty of that who hold no slaves. I doubt not 
but that in British manufactories you might find children suffering that injus- 
tice ; you will find them in America, but thauk God they are not slaves. 
All kinds of injustice are perpetrated by man ; but that is not slavery. 
It may follow under slavery, slavery may open the flood-gates to all these 
iniquities ; bnt slavery stands prominent, lifted up, rank, and odious, above the 
whole. It is the relationship for which so many apologies are attempted. 
Allow me to refer with great reverence to the creation of man. When God 
made the world, aud the suu, and the moon, aud the stars, and the cattle 



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upon a thousand hills, He pronounced them all " very good." But when 
He put an intellectual being into man, and said, « Let us make man." 
How? Grovelling like the animals, and destitute of intellect and of 
moral faeulties ? No ; " Let us make man in our image," and " in the 
image of God ereated He him, male and female created He them. 
Man was distinguished, and when He had made him He gave him an inven- 
tory of property. What is the inventory? It is the cattle on the hills, the 
beasts of the forest, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea. It is a 
large inventory ; hut look it over. Do you find man put in that inventory ? 
Is man to he aecounted property ? No. This inventory was rehearsed by 
David in the Psalms ; but man is not reckoned. Now why should God esta- 
blish the penalty of death for stealing a man ? In connexion with that law 
yon will fiud another. Pardon me for dwelling so long upon the relation, 
but I wish to get the definition. If man may be the property of man, then 
his value may be fouud out. Another law was annexed to the law to whieh I 
have alluded. If a man stole an ox, or a sheep, was he to be put to death ? 
No ; he was to restore five oxen for au ox, and four sheep for a sheep. "Why ? 
Beeause there was not the same relation in the one ease as in the other. 
Man holds a higher relation in the scale of being than cattle, and, therefore, 
is not, and eannot be made, the property of his fellow. I know it will be 
urged here, that the law which was thrown around a servant to proteet his 
life, says, " If a mau smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die 
under his hand, he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he con- 
tinue a day or two, he shall not be punished ; for he is his money." The term 
has often been used, that nobody has a right to hold property in man. I 
think in one sense he has. If I pledge myself to any man for six months' 
labour, that man has an interest in my bones, and sinews, and museles. 
If I die he loses that property. That was the case here. You will find 
on examination, that he was the Jew's hired servant for six years ; he had 
money vested in the man, and the man owed him a certain amount of labour. 
But no Jew could sell either his bondman or his hired servant ; he eould not 
traffie in man. The root and essence of slavery, I conceive to be, the taking 
of an immortal man— a man endowed with intelleet, and on whom is stamped 
Jehovah's image,— a rational, immortal, responsible being, having eertain 
inalienable rights established eoeval with his being, blotting out this relation 
and redneing him to a property relatiou. When once you have established 
the right of one man over another, as men have right over property, 
you have blotted out all human relations and elaims. You have ehanged 
the constitution of man and made him property. That this is the 
relatiou of man in slave countries none can doubt : it is claimed and 
exercised. In Weld's slave law, there are several legal judgments, proving 
this faet. One case, I remember, occurred in North Carolina. A person of 
the name of Mann was tried for the murder of his slave. He attempted to 
iufliet eorporal punishment on a woman ; she fled ; he took his gun and shot 
her. The judge in that ease directed an aeqnittal. The evidenee was elear, 
the judge goes into it, and he talks in one point of view like a Christian, in 
another like a erazy man. Most deeply he eould feel as a man, most deeply 
he eould feel as a Christian, and he states that if he were sitting there to 
judge as a moralist, his eourse would be plain ; but, he adds, while slavery 
eontinues, the power of the master must be absolute. If on the principles of 
morality yoti begin to strike at the power of the master, where, ean you stop, 



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till you Lave rooted up the whole system ? There has been a going forth 
without the enclosure of the rights of morality, but security is found within^ 
the establishment of the relation. Let me briefly inquire what is the peculiar 
sin of tbis relation. It strikes me that the great sin is not that it injures man. 
I can feel that most deeply, I do at this moment feel it, for the millions who 
groan in bondage. It is an outrage on all the rights of man, but to me this 
appears not the greatness of the sin. When David had slain Uiiiah with the 
sword, what was his confession 1 He had injured Uiiiah ; he had done 
exceedingly vile in the matter : but where lay his sin ? Ob, he felt himself in 
the presence of an infinite God, who had stamped his image upon that 
Uriah. " Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy 
sight." We should never forget that sin arises from the violation of tbe 
divine precepts. When a man sheds the blood of a beast, he may by so doing 
invade the rights of his neighbour ; but when he sheds the blood of a man, 
the injury done to man is nothing in comparison with the invasion of the 
rights of Jehovah, whose image is enstamped upon man. He who takes a 
man, and reduces him from the intellectual position in the scale of being 
where God has placed him, to a thing, a chattel ; desecrates Jehovah's image. 
Every slave-holder in the world has got his foot, I speak it with reverence, 
upon God's representative, upon that being whom He has been pleased to 
stamp with his own image, and God is directly dishonoured whenever man is 
attempted to be made a thing. I hope that this view of the subject will 
fasten itself upon the mind of every Christian. By establishing the very 
relation, whether he be kind or unkind is immaterial, he has committed the 
great sin against God, he has taken his image and put it under his foot ; and 
when he takes him to the market, he makes merchandize of the representative 
of God. A shuddering comes over me when I think of this subject. When 
the slave holder shall come before God, he will find that his war has been not 
with the poor man trembling in the dust, but with that God who made man 
his representative. Another sin resulting from this relation is, that it at once 
deprives the victim of all the rights and claims predicated of his position in 
the scale of manhood. Whatever he receives is gratuitous. When once you 
have consigned man to thingship ; then the thingship relation is the only one 
that can attach to him. The law has made him something else than he was 
originally, and with one fell swoop has blotted out that law which God has 
written concerning him. Hence, it is the law of America, that a slave can 
neither plead nor be pleaded for, he cannot be known, save in his master ; and 
therefore he is goods and chattels to all intents and purposes whatever. 
Whatever is withheld from him, it is congenial with the relation established ; 
the relation demands that it be withheld. I would put it to any gentleman 
who may stand up in this Convention, and defend the relation under any 
possible circumstances, whether he can put his finger upon any rights of man- 
hood left me when I myself am sold. A few days since I met witb a country- 
man from Savannah, who contended that the slaves had the rights of manhood 
left to them. I inquired, " Do your brethren sell their brethren V He replied 
in the affirmative. I then asked him, "When your brethren have sold the 
soul and body of man, what rights of humanity can be left to him ? if he gets 
them it is gratuitous. If the relation be a righteous one, he gets a gratuity ; 
but if it be an unrighteous one, those who establish it are unrighteous, and 
not those only, but the relation itself shall be accursed. Again, this re- 
lation establishes a defined, recognised right to all the means and inflictions 



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281 

necessary to conform the vietim to the relation. Why all those horrible laws 
in Ameriea ? Why all those abominable laws in every slave holding eountry ? 
Is it because slave holders are notoriously more unkind than other men 2 Is it 
beeause they love to inflict punishment for cruelty's sake ? Oh ! no. The 
necessity arises out of the relation whieh has been established. You must 
hold me in the relation of a slave ; I do not stay there naturally, I must be 
held there with violence. The slave must be erushed to his eondition ; one 
thing after another must be taken from him, till he will consent to be a thing. 
Let the profoundest religionist hold a slave, and let that slave attempt to get 
his freedom, there is the issue between us. If the religionist be right, the slave 
is wrong. If the slave be wrong, then the master is justified in using all the 
inflictio'ns necessary to seeure the eontinuanee of the relation. Henee, 
all the horrid catalogue of evils, inflietions and privations which make the 
slave distriets, dark, and gloomy, and dreadful, are but the legitimate result, 
the neeessary and never-failing result, of the relation established. There 
has been in our country a number of attempts to enlighten the slaves, to 
<rive them edueation. Christians have started up and said, " We eanuot 
endure this -we must enlighten and instruct our slaves." But the moment 
they begin to enlighten the slave, they undermine the relation. Light 
and slavery cannot live together. Could you take this Convention to 
America, and by any proeess under heaven, make its members slaves? 
Could any of us be made slaves? No. Why? We have been favoured 
with light and knowledge. Impart those blessings to slaves, and eould 
you hold them in slavery? In our country the knowledge of the North 
Star, that agitator of the south, has liberated more slaves than all other 
means together ; for they have found out, that under its light there is a land 
of freedom. Thus, when you have established the relation, you have esta- 
blished the necessity of shackling the mind in darkness. Hence all slave 
legislation in Ameriea has been direeted to that end. They have gone as 
systematically and as meehanieally to work to crush man's mind, and hold 
him in ignoranec, as if they had got a machine to take off his skull, to pare- 
off the phrenological bumps, and leave but just enough intelleet to plant a 
sugar eane, or rear eotton in the field. It has been a systematic effort whieh 
has grown out of the relation : you eannot eontinue the relation aud improve 
the intellect. Again, the establishment of this relation puts it out of the 
power of the owner, either to be kind to his slave, or to protect him, if he 
wishes it, in any of the rights of his mauhood. This may be thought to be 
taking very strong ground ; but we have learned to take strong ground. If I 
have a battle to fight with an enemy, and there is a hill between us, I will 
o-o to the top and not stop half way up it. To illustrate the impossibility of a 
master being land to his slave, let me put this case. When a man has robbed 
me of my whole estate, and holds it in his grasp, and I am poor, and with 
my family laeking bread, can that man do me au aet of kindness ? Suppose, 
under these eircumstances, he were to come and say, " I do not like to see 
your family suffering, and therefore I have brought you a loaf of bread." 
What would I say ? Don't eome to add insult to injury ; give me baek my own, 
and I shall not want the loaf from you : be just before you are kind. What 
greater injury can a man do me, than to take me and make me a slave ! 
When he makes me a slave, he withholds from me the right of labouring for 
myself. I ask, if he by possibility ean do me a kind act. He eannot. Every 
act of professed kindness is hypocrisy andinsult. Talk of a kind slave-owner, 



■ 



it is a thing unknowu. In other respects he may be kind, but he never can 
be a kind slave-holder. He must first do an act of justice, he must give me 
back my own, and then he may talk of being generous. But it is out of his 
power to protect me. Let me give you one or two cases. Sometime since a 
Doctob. in one of our "Western States, out of kindness, purchased a man, 
intending to give him his freedom, when lie should have worked out the 
price he paid for him. At the time the abolitionists raised up a shout 
against it ; their testimony against the Doctob. was, that he was holding an 
unnatural relation. A complaint was made that we were unkind ; that, for- 
sooth, it was a very kind act on the part of the Doctob.. But we contended 
that the Doctob. had no right to sanctify present evil with good intentions, 
that he had no right to hold a hair of his head in slavery ; that he might die 
or break, and therefore he held the man iu jeopardy. It so happened, that in 
some of his speculations the Doctob. did fail, and now poor Ambrose is toil- 
ing in the cotton field. He could not prevent that man from being sold, he 
could not protect him. Another instance ; In 1832, I was in the city of Rich- 
mond. A friend, five miles off, sent his barouche to fetch me to breakfast. 
The driver was a coloured man, and on the way, I asked him if he knew any 
thing about Jesus. lie replied, " I do, Sir ; I have for many years been a 
member of a Baptist church in Richmond, and am a legalised preacher of the 
gospel." What ! said I, and a slave too ? " Yes." What a sensation it 
created in my mind ! Do you preach now ? " Yes, on the plantation ; there 
has been a reformation there," aud he meutioned circumstances which I will 
not stop to relate. I asked if he had a wife. He said, " Yes, and two children." 
Does she belong to your master ? " No, but to a widow woman yonder, who 
is a member of the church." Is she a good woman ? is your master kind ? 
" Yes, he gives me hours to go and see her, and her mistress loves her like a 
sister ; she is very good." I expressed pleasure that their master and mis- 
tress were so kind, and that he could go to see his little ones. " Oh," he 
said, " there is a bad thing ; her mistress is poor, I expect every day that she 
will break, and my wife will be sold ;" and he paused ; « perhaps to the 
south, and I shall see her no more ;" and he paused again, and added, " per- 
haps to some wretch who will abuse her." What a hateful, cursed relation 
to that sister in Christ, that mistress that continued the relation of pro- 
perty ! A change in the price of cotton and tobacco, and she could not retain 
her in her possession. Trace the history, and what is the result ? The price 
of cotton fluctuates, it goes down, her mistress breaks, and the woman is 
brought under the auctioneer's hammer. There stands, perhaps, the deacon 
of a church of which she is a member, and bids for this good woman ; the 
wife of a minister of the gospel,— a religions woman. Is not that putting 
Christ in the market 2 All this is under the necessitous control of the law. 
She must take the fate of property ; it is out of the power of her mistress to 
protect her. If she were abused, if she were insulted, while she continued 
the wife of that minister, where is the redress ? If she is injured in ber 
labour, her mistress can get redress ; but she cannot protect her virtue, her 
religion, her morality. There is uo law for their protection ; they are not 
known as men and women ; they are only known as things, property, goods 
and chattels. This unnatural relation is the root of all the evils which legi- 
timately grow from slavery. I have been much pained since I have been in 
this Couvention. I never can treat the land of my birth lightly. You may 
consider mc an enthusiast if you please ; but I believe that, notwithstanding 



these evils, America is as good as any other land. Yon may thiuk it strange 
that I should enter into what may appear to some an apology tor the slave- 
holder If I were to come to the mercy seat, beside the slave-holder from the 
south to-day, I would get into the dust as low as he did, and I would say, 
« Lord, though in mercy I have heen awakened, and brought to repentance, 
yet for years I justified the relation in which my brother stands, and which 
has resulted in all the evil that flows from it." The abuses of the relation I 
have shown to be the result of legislation. Onr legislators have to do, what ? 
To frame the very laws, to carry out that unnatural relation which causes 
confusion, and discord, and destruction, in whatever community you _ thrust 
it • and England has been aiding us, and British Christians have been justify- 
ing the relation, and admitting the right. We have been attempting to 
carry out a relation, which no one can carry out. And what has been the 
result * Onr country suffers the reproach. At this moment there are thou- 
sands in the slave-holding community who deplore the existence of so great an 
evil, and they talk of mending it. When you speak of destroying it, they 
say "Paul sent back Onesimus." When yon talk of pulling up the whole 
tree, « Oh Moses had slaves, and Abraham, the good old patriarch, had slaves; 
von must not touch the relation." While by the sanction of the world they 
are cherishing the relation, they are mourning like yon over the desolations 
spread around it, and you must bring your whole power to bear on the 
relation itself. Let me say a word for the church of Christ. I have wept 
with members of the church over this evil in the night watches. It has 
brought me to the dust; our churches have felt it, and they feel it now. 
Our brethren come here, and how are they received? A _ slave-holding 
minister comes from the south, and you say, "Sick of the evils of slavery 
as I am, cannot yon make it better?" « I am trying to do it-I treat 
mine like children." And what do you do? You send that man back 
with his chains and manacles on, and yon have strengthened^ him in his 
attempt to maintain the relation that brings these horrid evils. Change 
vour voice, and let it be uncontrolled by personal interest. Tell hun 
that the relation is wrong. When yon meet a brother, say, Are you 
from the slave states? "Yes." Do you hold slaves "Yes, I have one 
he had a cruel master, and he wanted me to buy him." Do yon hold him as 
a slave' "I do." The question is, what yon must say to him. _ If yon give 
your sanction to the relation, yon support all that we hold evil m the laud 
Yon must tell him that the evils of slavery are all germinated in the root 
of slavery, Say to him, "Brother, you have no right to hold that man 
as property; go back, and do justice by giving him his freedom. TV hen 
the church from north to south, has been made to feel this ; then and not til 
then, shall we cure the evil of slavery. We have been made to feel the evil 
more deeply than our brethren in England; we are, as I before said nearer 
to the battle-field. I hold in my hand a document which has arrived from 
America to-day ; the address of the American Baptist Anti-slavery Conven- 
tion to the southern Baptist slave-holders. I will read the conclusion of the 
address "We have had labour after labour, toil after toil, to bring the 
matter to this point. They would agree to go for curing the evil but not o 
refuse fellowship with the man who holds property m man ; but thank the 
Lorithey have come to it now." « Finally," say the Convention consis ing 
of 110 persons, assembled from thirteen states, at the written call of n 
than 400 ministers, and between 200 and 300 laymen 



" Finally, if you should 



284 

(which heaven avert) ! remain deaf to the voice of warning and entreaty • if 
you still cling to the power-maintaiued privilege of living on unpaid toil, and 
of claiming as property the image of God, which Jesus hought with his most 
precious blood, we solemnly declare, as we fear the Lord, that we cannot and 
dare not, recognise you as consistent brethren in Christ. We cannot join in 
partial, selfish prayers, that the groans of the slave may be unheard ; we 
cannot hear preaching which makes God the author and approver of human 
misery and vassalage ; and we cannot, at the Lord's table, cordially take that 
as a brother's hand, which plies the scourge on woman's naked flesh, which 
thrusts a gag into the mouth of man ;" (let me say here, that the Congress of 
the United States, in solemn conclave assembled, have resolved that slaves 
shall not petition, that they shall not pray) ; « which thrusts a gag into the 
mouth of men, which rivets fetters on the innocent, and which shuts up the 
Bible from human eyes. We deplore your condition ; we pray for your 
deliverance ; and God forbid that we should ever sin against him by ceasing 
so to pray." We begin to see the dawn of brighter days. Hearts hitherto 
cramped, and fettered, and pained, lift up the expectation that freedom will 
come at last to the church of God from this act of justice. We have been 
fettered at every step. You know that men high in authority in the church or 
in the state are not the men for reform. When they are at the top of the wheel, 
they care not that it should revolve, lest they should come down. These 
always stand out against reformation ; and so it has been in the denomination 
to which I belong. I cannot say, like the author of the letter, from which I 
have just read, that our churches are a great cause of the coutinnance of 
slavery in our land ; but I must add, that there are men, I believe, in those 
churches, deeply implicated in the sin, and wheu we have attempted to speak 
out, an effort has been made to place a gag on our mouths. There are some 
sitting here from my own shores, who know what we have to meet, and I can 
better appreciate the course of my brethren than mauy who have spoken of 
them on this side of the water. « Why come," it is said, " to a Convention of 
the leaders of any church, aud begin to' touch upon this ;" and the hand is 
upon your mouth ; "we know all about it ; we live here, we feel as much 
opposed to slavery as any men can do ; hut do not say a word about it, or you 
will hurt the cause of the slave. The hoary head will shake the reverend 
locks upon you with fearful rebuke." Notwithstanding such expostulations, 
we got out a call for the Convention, and the leaders of the missionary opera- 
tions in New York took the pains to appoint their meeting on the same day, 
and at the same hour. I was then met in the city with a remark of this kind, 
" Had you uot better give up your meeting ? Let it pass over. You will hurt 
the anti-slavery cause if you hold it at the same time with the missionary 
meetings." We shook the head, we had been inveigled enough. We declared 
our determination to go straight forward with what we had in view ; and if 
we had but a few, we knew that they would be a tried few. We took our 
station, 150 friends were present from different parts of the United States, 
our meeting was full, and the dignitaries had empty seats to which to preach! 
The people were found in our body, and they came together like Christians. 
I have read you the close of their address to the south. They have taken up 
the matter in earnest ; and let me say, that I cannot express with what deep 
solicitude they look to their brethren of different denominations in this 
country that love the Lord. They look to you, expecting that you will stand 
by them on that ground, to which they have made their way with so much 



toil, and refuse connexion with those wlio profit by all the evils of slavery 
wherever it exists. They look to you to take them by the hand. We feel 
•we need it. Many have been aroused to stand up in the cause of the down- 
trodden slave. We have felt great pleasure in coming to this Convention. 
The cordiality with which I have been received in England has cheered me, 
and I shall go back refreshed, to toil in America. I went to one church to 
preach, and a good old man said, " I wonder if he is an anti-slavery man." 
Let the question be put to every man who comes here from our side of the 
water, and you will materially strengthen the cause. 

Dr. GREVILLE.— After the expression of feeling which has been elicited 
by the stirring address just delivered, I hope you will not imagine that I 
am about to bring forward anything which can tend to repress that feeling. 
I propose, however, to substitute another resolution for the fourth, and, I 
hope, it will be pne which will fully meet the views of those gentlemen who, 
it will be recollected, felt some scruples on the subject when it was before us 
on a former occasion. I think it will he admitted that I have not compro- 
mised in any degree the principle for which we contend. As a member of 
the Established Church of this country, I am of opinion, that whenever